Brain and Language Lab

Meta-analyses and Comprehensive Reviews

In order to capture reliable patterns of findings we are turning more and more to meta-analyses, quantitative syntheses, and comprehensive or systematic reviews. These cover a variety of topics (e.g., language, memory, and disorders) and both behavioral and neuroanatomical findings. For example, we have published meta-analyses of procedural memory deficits as examined in the serial reaction time (SRT) task in dyslexia (Lum et al., 2013), Developmental Language Disorder/Specific Language Impairment (Lum et al., 2014), and Parkinson's disease (Clark et al., 2014) and meta-analyses of studies testing correlations between learning in declarative or procedural memory and first or second language abilities (Hamrick et al., 2018). Our functional imaging meta-analyses have thus far examined language learning (Tagarelli et al., 2019) and sequence learning in procedural memory (Janacsek et al., 2020). Additionally, a new systematic review and meta-analysis, using a novel neuroanatomical meta-analytic technique we developed (Co-localization Likelihood Estimation), examines the structural and functional neuroanatomy of developmental language disorder. The findings reveal that only the basal ganglia, specifically the anterior neostriatum, shows highly consistent abnormalities in the disorder (Ullman et al. 2024). Finally a recently published comprehensive review reveals that subcortical structures throughout the brain underlie multiple aspects of both lower and higher cognition (Janacsek et al., 2022).


Ullman, M. T., Clark, G. M., Pullman, M. Y., Lovelett, J. T., Pierpont, E. I., Jiang, X., & Turkeltaub, P. E. (2024). The neuroanatomy of developmental language disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nature Human Behaviour, 8(5), 962-975. (Supplementary Information)

Morgan-Short, K., Hamrick, P., & Ullman, M. T. (2022). Declarative and Procedural Memory as Predictors of Second Language Development. In S. Li, P. Hiver, M. Papi (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition and Individual Differences (pp. 67-81). (Supporting Table 1). For link to Supporting Table in Open Science Framework click HERE

Janacsek, K., Evans, T. M., Kiss, M., Shah, L., Blumenfeld H., & Ullman, M. T. (2022). Subcortical cognition: the fruit below the rind. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 45, 361–86. (Supplemental Materials).

Janacsek, K., Shattuck, K. F., Tagarelli, K. M., Lum, J. A. G., Turkeltaub, P. E., & Ullman, M. T. (2020) Sequence learning in the human brain: A functional neuroanatomical meta-analysis of serial reaction time studies. NeuroImage, 207, 116387. 

Tagarelli, K. M., Shattuck, K. F., Turkeltaub, P. E., & Ullman, M. T. (2019). Language learning in the adult brain: A neuroanatomical meta-analysis of lexical and grammatical learning. NeuroImage, 193, 178-200. (Supplementary Tables).

Hamrick, P., Lum, J. A., & Ullman, M. T. (2018). Child first language and adult second language are both tied to general-purpose learning systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(7), 1487-1492. (Supporting Information).

Clark, G. M., Lum, J. A. G., & Ullman, M. T. (2014). A meta-analysis and meta-regression of serial reaction time task performance in Parkinson's disease. Neuropsychology, 28(6), 945-958.

Lum, J. A. G., Conti-Ramsden, G. M., Morgan, A. T., & Ullman, M. T. (2014). Procedural learning deficits in Specific Language Impairment (SLI): A meta-analysis of serial reaction time task performance. Cortex,51, 1-10.

Lum, J. A. G., Ullman, M. T., & Conti-Ramsden, G. (2013). Procedural learning is impaired in dyslexia: Evidence from a meta-analysis of serial reaction time studies. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34(10), 3460-3476.