Embryogenesis of the Speech and Hearing Apparatus The human otolaryngeal apparatus represents the apotheosis of human evolution, since it is by communication that the flowering of human evolution and civilization has been achieved. The development of language (glossogeny) may be tied to a mutation in the FOXP2 gene, associated with speech defects (Enard et al., 2002), ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2007
Embryogenesis of the Speech and Hearing Apparatus
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • G. H. Sperber
    Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of AlbertaEdmonton, Alberta, Canada
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Balance & Balance Disorders / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Articles
Article   |   October 01, 2007
Embryogenesis of the Speech and Hearing Apparatus
SIG 5 Perspectives on Speech Science and Orofacial Disorders, October 2007, Vol. 17, 4-7. doi:10.1044/ssod17.2.4
SIG 5 Perspectives on Speech Science and Orofacial Disorders, October 2007, Vol. 17, 4-7. doi:10.1044/ssod17.2.4
The human otolaryngeal apparatus represents the apotheosis of human evolution, since it is by communication that the flowering of human evolution and civilization has been achieved. The development of language (glossogeny) may be tied to a mutation in the FOXP2 gene, associated with speech defects (Enard et al., 2002), that may have occurred 50,000 years ago, coinciding with the first human migration out of Africa.
The development of the speech and hearing mechanisms represents a fascinating combination of evolutionary adaptation of primeval organs originally designed for respiratory purposes (the piscine gill arches) to organs of human communication. Indeed, for centuries the ear was thought to function as both a respiratory and hearing organ, connected through the Eustachian tube (Eustachi, 1564).
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