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Research Center for Language, Brain and Genetics

Innovative features of the Center

At this research center, we are carrying out a survey on language among children aged 11 to 19 and their parents in Setagaya Ward, Mitaka City and Chofu City as part of the Tokyo Teen Cohort Project being implemented by the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science. The Linguistic Theory Research Group and Brain Function Measurement Research Group are central in that survey, preparing a questionnaire on language function centered on grammatical knowledge to analyze the relationships between language functions, mental and physical development and socioeconomic factors. Apart from this, we are carrying out correlative analysis of items including language functions and biological parameters centered mainly on brain images to conduct research that will clarify the biological foundations of mental functions and language functions.

In addition, as a result of investigating brain activity when reciting English using optical brain function imaging and optical topography in about 500 elementary school children under the theme of brain activity in English language study, it was clarified that pronounced differences appear in brain activity between boys and girls as their studies advance and proficiency levels improve. This was presented as a paper (Sugiura et al, 2015). This difference between boys and girls shows that strategy differences may be reflected in English language study and is expected to lead to the development of effective English language learning methods at elementary schools in the future.