Brain Structure and Function

, Volume 224, Issue 9, pp 3387–3398 | Cite as

Grey matter volume in developmental speech and language disorder

  • Lauren Pigdon
  • Catherine Willmott
  • Sheena Reilly
  • Gina Conti-Ramsden
  • Christian Gaser
  • Alan Connelly
  • Angela T. MorganEmail author
Original Article


Developmental language disorder (DLD) and developmental speech disorder (DSD) are common, yet their etiologies are not well understood. Atypical volume of the inferior and posterior language regions and striatum have been reported in DLD; however, variability in both methodology and study findings limits interpretations. Imaging research within DSD, on the other hand, is scarce. The present study compared grey matter volume in children with DLD, DSD, and typically developing speech and language. Compared to typically developing controls, children with DLD had larger volume in the right cerebellum, possibly associated with the procedural learning deficits that have been proposed in DLD. Children with DSD showed larger volume in the left inferior occipital lobe compared to controls, which may indicate a compensatory role of the visual processing regions due to sub-optimal auditory-perceptual processes. Overall, these findings suggest that different neural systems may be involved in the specific deficits related to DLD and DSD.


Language Speech Child VBM MRI 



LP is funded by an Australian Government Research Training Program Stipend Scholarship. AM is supported by National Health and Medical Research Council Career (NHMRC) Development Fellowship #607315 and Practitioner Fellowship #1105008; NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Child Language #1023493; NHMRC CRE Moving Ahead #1023043; and HEARing Collaborative Research Centre. This research is also supported by the CRE in Child Language #1023493 and the Victorian Government’s Operational Infrastructure Support Program. Thank you to Angela Mayes, Cristina Mei, and Sarah Barton for assistance with data collection.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Supplementary material

429_2019_1978_MOESM1_ESM.docx (202 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 203 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren Pigdon
    • 1
    • 2
  • Catherine Willmott
    • 2
    • 8
  • Sheena Reilly
    • 1
    • 7
  • Gina Conti-Ramsden
    • 1
    • 6
  • Christian Gaser
    • 9
  • Alan Connelly
    • 3
    • 4
  • Angela T. Morgan
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Murdoch Children’s Research InstituteParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Turner Institute for Brain and Mental HealthMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  3. 3.Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental HealthHeidelbergAustralia
  4. 4.University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  5. 5.Royal Children’s HospitalParkvilleAustralia
  6. 6.The University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  7. 7.Menzies Health Institute QueenslandGriffith UniversityMount GravattAustralia
  8. 8.Monash-Epworth Rehabilitation Research CentreMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  9. 9.Jena University HospitalJenaGermany

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