GenLang Consortium


A core aim of the GenLang network is to bring together research teams and cohorts with data on speech, language, reading and related skills coupled to molecular genetic information from the same individuals. GenLang provides a flexible dynamic framework for research teams and their participant cohorts to opt in or out of different multisite collaborative projects depending on data availability and research interests. Here we provide brief overviews of many of the cohorts that have joined the network, from different countries around the world.

Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)
ALSPAC is a UK-based longitudinal birth cohort study which enrolled pregnant women who were resident in one of three Bristol-based health districts in the former County of Avon with an expected delivery date between 1st April 1991 and 31st December 1992. Around 14,000 pregnant women were initially recruited. Additional cohorts of participants have since been enrolled in their own right including fathers, siblings, children of the children and grandparents of the children. ALSPAC collected a wide range of reading-, speech-, and language-related measures from birth into adulthood.
GenLang PI: Louise Jones

The Aston cohort
The Aston cohort is composed of some 200 families recruited via the Aston Dyslexia and Developmental Assessment Unit in Birmingham, UK. Children attending this educational clinic have been referred for difficulties in reading decoding and/or comprehension by local schools. The cohort has information on dyslexia diagnoses, and also collected quantitative information on several reading ability measures in children 7 to 15 years of age.
GenLang PI's: Silvia Paracchini, Joel Talcott

Brisbane Adolescents Twin Sample (BATS)
The BATS is an ongoing program at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR), Australia, that uses a resource of adolescent twins (2,720 individuals) and their singleton siblings (1,179), constituting 1,324 families. Although the program measures a broad range of phenotypes, two main studies aim to reveal the genetic architecture underlying moliness and cognitive function. The BATS has information on several reading- and language-related phenotypes in adolescents.
GenLang PI's: Michelle Luciano, Margie Wright, Nick Martin, Tim Bates

The Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL) cohort
BCBL is a cohort of children aged 6 to 16 years that were enrolled through schools from different regions all over Spain (Andalucía, Basque Country, Castilla-León, Murcia, and Canary Islands). The BCBL cohort collected information on a wide range of speech-, reading- and language-related phenotypes.
GenLang PI: Manuel Carreiras

Colorado Learning Disabilities Research Centre (CLDRC)
The long-range objectives of the US-based CLDRC are the identification, characterization, validation, and amelioration of reading and writing difficulties, as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which together represent the most prevalent disorders of childhood. To accomplish these objectives, the CLDRC employs a unique approach that assesses the extent to which genetic and environmental influences underlie the disorders, and that uses covariation in aetiology to understand whether deficits in component skills of reading and writing are manifestations of a single syndrome or represent separate subtypes. CLDRC has information available on a range of reading-, speech- and language-related phenotypes in children aged 6 to 18 years.
GenLang PI's: Richard Olson, Erik Willcutt, John DeFries, Sally Wadsworth, Bruce Tomblin, Shelley Smith, Jeffrey Gruen, Jan Keenan

The COPSAC2010 mother-child cohort is a Danish population-based longitudinal clinical study of 736 pregnant women and their 700 children. The overriding objective is to reduce the burden of disease from asthma and other wheezy disorders, eczema and allergy in young children, and the long-term impact to society. The COPSAC2010 study builds on the comprehensive experience and knowledge gained from the COPSAC2000 mother-child cohort. The families are monitored closely from week 24 of the mother's pregnancy. A major effort is detailed clinical phenotyping, along with assessments of genetics, immunology, and microbiology. The cohort collected information on early language development in children aged 0 to 8 years old.
GenLang PI's: Hans Bisgaard, Klaus Bønnelykke

Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS)
The Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS) was established in 2003 to examine the natural course of language development and language problems from infancy. Its purpose was to inform policy regarding promotion of good language and communication, prevention of delay and intervention for disorders. ELVS is a longitudinal, population-based cohort study that comprehensively tracks language development from infancy (8 months) through to adolescence (age 13 years), via multi-source informants, direct assessment and linkage to nationally acquired academic achievement data. The cohort collected a wide range of (developmental) communication-, reading- and language-related measures at multiple timepoints.
GenLang PI's: Sheena Reilly, Angela Morgan

Netherlands Twin Registry (NTR)
The Netherlands Twin Registry began in 1987 with data collection in twins and their families. For the majority of participants, longitudinal data collection has been done by age-specific surveys. In sub-groups of different ages, phenotyping has been carried out for general cognition (IQ), brain imaging (EEG and MRI), growth, hormones, neuropsychological assessments, and cardiovascular measures. Biological samples have been collected, and large numbers of twins and parents have been genotyped. Recruitment and data collection is ongoing. NTR collected data on reading ability at various ages.
GenLang PI: Dorret Boomsma

Familial Influences On Literacy Abilities (FIOLA)
The FIOLA cohort consists of Dutch families who visited the NEMO science museum in Amsterdam and who were willing to take part in the study with at least one parent and one child. Parents and children were tested on reading ability, reading-related cognitive skills, and arithmetic, also providing DNA samples for genetic investigations.
GenLang PI's: Elsje van Bergen, Simon E. Fisher, Peter F. de Jong

Generation R
The Generation R Study (led by teams at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands) is a prospective cohort study from foetal life until young adulthood in a multi-ethnic urban population. The study is designed to identify early environmental and genetic causes of normal and abnormal growth, development, and health from foetal life until young adulthood. The long-term goal is that results from Generation R will contribute to the development of strategies for optimizing health and healthcare for pregnant women and children. The cohort collected information on early language development, as well as nonword repetition data.
GenLang PI's: Marie-Christine Franken, Marc van der Schroeff, Henning Tiemeier

Genes, Reading and Dyslexia (GRaD) Study
The GRaD Study is a multi-centre case/control study of the genetics of dyslexia in Hispanic-American and African-American children. Each child is assessed with an extensive battery of standardized reading, language, IQ, attention, and motivation tests. DNA is collected from every child, towards genome-wide association analyses that can identify genetic markers informative in understudied populations of North America. GRaD collected information on a range of reading-, speech- and language-related phenotypes in children aged 6 to 18.
GenLang PI: Jeffrey R. Gruen

Hong Kong Bilingual Twin Project
The Bilingual Twin Project is a longitudinal study which aims to investigate the role of genetic and environmental influences on children's cognitive, mathematics, and bilingual language development. It is an interdisciplinary study that combines three areas of interest: (i) behavioural genetics; (ii) molecular genetics; and (iii) neurobiological markers. The cohort consists of children studying in local primary schools in Hong Kong. The project collected information on a wide range of reading- and language-related phenotypes in children aged 6 to 12 years.
GenLang PI's: Connie S.-H. Ho, Catherine McBride, Simon Fisher, Richard Olson, and Silvia Paracchini

Medea Babylab cohort
The Medea Babylab cohort focuses on early risk markers for language and learning impairments, in a set of infants from Italy. Using newly developed techniques for studying brain and behaviour in infants, the research focuses on electroencephalogram (EEG) and event-related potentials (ERP) as potential objective early markers that may be able to detect vulnerable infants who are at highest risk for language and learning impairments. The cohort collected information on spoken language and communication development in children 6 to 48 months of age.
GenLang PI's: Valentina Riva, Chiara Cantiani, Cecilia Marino

NeuroDys Cohort
The NeuroDys cohort is a cross-linguistic sample of school-age children that includes more than 1600 individuals diagnosed with dyslexia and 1200 controls, sampled with homogenous inclusion criteria across eight European countries (UK, France, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Finland). Results were collected from a comprehensive task battery of cognitive measures assessing non-word decoding, spelling, phonological awareness, phonological short-term memory, rapid automatised naming and the DNA samples of all participants.
GenLang PI's: Bertram Müller-Myhsok, Gerd-Schulte Körne

Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa)
The Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study is a unique study where over 90,000 pregnant women were recruited from 1998 to 2008. More than 70,000 fathers have participated. MoBa is a prospective study that follows participants and siblings throughout the course of their lives. The aim is to find early signs of diseases and identify their causes, towards improved prevention and treatment. MoBa collected information on spoken language, communication, reading and articulation proficiency during development.
GenLang PI's: Astanand Jugessur, Heidi Aase, Per Magnus, Camilla Stoltenberg

Iowa Language Cohort
The Iowa Language Cohort resulted from two interconnected studies and over a decade of work led by Prof. J. Bruce Tomblin at the University of Iowa in the US. A large population-based cohort of nearly 2,000 Iowan kindergartners was screened for Specific Language Impairment (SLI) in the mid-1990s. A subset of this cohort was followed for the next ten years as part of a longitudinal study. Both behavioural data and DNA samples were collected. The cohort collected information on a wide range of speech-, reading- and language-related phenotypes in children 6 to 16 years of age.
GenLang PI's: Jake Michaelson, Bruce Tomblin

Italian Dyslexia cohort
The Italian Dyslexia cohort focuses on the definition of a multifactorial model of dyslexia. Goals of the study include characterization of genetic and environmental effects on intermediate phenotypes underlying reading acquisition, and the identification and definition of early markers and new rehabilitation techniques, by implementing new neurocognitive training. The techniques employed include molecular genetic analysis, neuroimaging and electrophysiological techniques, as well as behavioural evaluations. The Italian Dyslexia cohort collected information on a range of reading-, speech- and language-related phenotypes.
GenLang PI's: Sara Mascheretti, Cecilia Marino

Italian Language community-based cohort
This research focuses on understanding the genetic and environmental factors that influence language development by studying a general population sample of Italian children aged 3 to 11 years old. The study also explores gene x environment interactions to model as closely as possible the tangled relationships between nature and nurture. The cohort collected several spoken language measures.
GenLang PI's: Sara Mascheretti, Valentina Riva

Oxford Dyslexia cohort
The Oxford Dyslexia cohort (also named UK Dyslexia cohort) is composed of 350 families and ~500 unrelated controls recruited in Reading and Oxfordshire, UK. The study has contributed to research on the genetics of dyslexia for over two decades, starting with linkage and candidate-genes studies and now contributing to GWAS meta-analysis efforts. The cohort also collected quantitative information on reading ability in children 6 to 12 years of age.
GenLang PI's: Silvia Paracchini, John Stein

Oxford Study of Children's Communication Impairments (OSCCI)
In this study, UK families were recruited with twin children aged between 6;0 and 11;11 years, whose first language at home was English. The study aimed for an over-representation of twin pairs in which one or both twins had language or literacy problems that might be indicative of developmental language disorder. The study collected a wide range of speech-, reading- and language-related measures.
GenLang PI's: Dorothy Bishop, Dianne Newbury

Raine Study
The Australia-based Raine Study was established between 1989 and 1991 to determine how events during pregnancy and childhood influence health in later life. 2,900 pregnant women entered the study and 2,868 live births were recruited into the Raine Study cohort. These families have provided environmental, developmental, and health information over the past 27 years, including multiple speech-, reading- and language-related measures at early developmental and later timepoints, providing a unique and valuable resource covering a wide range of research areas.
GenLang PI's: Andrew Whitehouse, Craig Pennell

SLI Consortium (SLIC) cohort
The SLI Consortium (SLIC) cohort was recruited from five centres across the UK. All collections comprise British nuclear families who were recruited through at least one child with a formal diagnosis of specific language impairment (SLI), as was the standard terminology at time of recruitment. Speech, reading, language and IQ measures were collected for all probands and available siblings, regardless of language ability and DNA samples were collected from parents and children.
GenLang PI: Dianne Newbury

Stella cohort
The Stella cohort is derived from children visiting the different dyslexia clinics throughout Italy. All children were assessed with a homogeneous battery of neuropsychological tests, measuring a wide range of reading-related traits.
GenLang PI's: Silvia Paracchini, Giacomo Stella

Twins Early Development Study (TEDS)
The Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) is a large longitudinal twin study that recruited over 16,000 twin pairs born between 1994 and 1996 in England and Wales through national birth records. Rich cognitive and behavioural data have been collected from the twins from infancy to emerging adulthood, comprising data collections at ages 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 21 years of age. Data were collected from twins themselves, and from their parents and teachers, and involve measures on communication development and reading ability.
GenLang PI's: Kaili Rimfeld, Andrea Allegrini, Robert Plomin

Toronto cohort
The Toronto cohort is a family-based sample recruited for the investigating of reading difficulties at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. A total of 624 children: those with reading difficulty and their siblings, aged 6 to 16 years were included. The Toronto cohort collected data on a wide range of reading- and language-related tests.
GenLang PI: Cathy Barr

York cohort
The York cohort is part of a six-year longitudinal language and reading project from 2007, funded by the Wellcome Trust, to investigate the nature of the developmental relationships between dyslexia and language disorder. The cohort collected a wide range of speech-, reading- and language-related measures at six timepoints in children aged 2 to 6 years.
GenLang PI's: Silvia Paracchini, Dianne Newbury, Maggie Snowling, Charles Hulme, Emma Hayiou-Thomas