Background on the Problem: Genes, Brains, and the Hallmark Spatial Profile

Barbara Landau and James E. Hoffman

in Spatial Representation

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195385373
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979189 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Series in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Background on the Problem: Genes, Brains, and the Hallmark Spatial Profile

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This chapter provides background on the genetic profile of people with WS, followed by a review of what is known about the possible structural and functional brain bases for the spatial deficit. Current findings indicate regions of abnormal structure and function in the WS brain that include parts of the dorsal stream, specifically, areas of the parietal cortex, as well as the hippocampus and adjacent regions. This review is followed by a detailed analysis of the hallmark block construction task, emphasizing the many cognitive capacities that are engaged when people carry out such tasks. We close the chapter by discussing the hypothesis that the WS spatial deficit may be characterized by strength in those spatial functions normally engaging the ventral stream of the visual system, and weakness in those functions normally engaging the dorsal stream. This hypothesis is evaluated and progressively modified in Chapters 3, 4, and 5.

Keywords: genetic profile; spatial representation; block construction task; micro-deletion; hippocampus; dorsal stream; ventral stream; intraparietal sulcus; parietal lobe; structural and functional imaging

Chapter.  13715 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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