Brain: The neuroconstructivist approach

Annette Karmiloff-Smith

in Neurodevelopmental Disorders Across the Lifespan

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199594818
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738166 | DOI:

Series: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Brain: The neuroconstructivist approach

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This chapter examines how the Williams syndrome (WS) brain in particular and atypically developing brains in general differ from the typical brain in terms of structure, function, physiology, and biochemistry. It stresses the multidirectional interactions between genes, cognition, behaviour, and brain, raising such questions as whether, in WS, the parietal cortex starts out smaller or whether it becomes smaller over developmental time because of atypical processing in that region. It bemoans the fact that almost everything we know about the WS brain emanates from studies of adult brains and stresses the need to trace brain anatomy, brain biochemistry, and brain function across developmental time, that is, to study the developing brain across time from infancy to adulthood. The chapter also highlights the need for in-depth cross-syndrome comparisons at the cerebral level.

Keywords: atypically developing brain; williams syndrome brain; multidirectional interactions; parietal cortex

Chapter.  11017 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Psychology

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