Anthropology and Human Genetics

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Humanized Foxp2 accelerates learning by enhancing transitions from declarative to procedural perform

by Schreiweis et al. in PNAS (2014)


Together with the lab of Ann Graybiel at MIT and Svante Pääbo at the MPI in Leipzig, we show in this paper that the human version of Foxp2 can affect learning of associations in mice. This is the first time it is shown that a mutation that occurred during human evolution affects learning and together with the physiological studies sheds light on how this transcription factor could have contributed to the evolution of human speech and language.