One of the core cognitive characteristics of Williams syndrome (WS) is the marked contrast between poor levels of visuospatial ability relative to stronger verbal abilities. Visuospatial cognition enables us to perceive and interact with our visual world. It includes everyday skills such as the ability to reach for and grasp our knife and fork and to recognise the food on the plate; the visual search skills required to locate our favourite cereal on a supermarket shelf or our coat on a coat rack; the processes that enable us to individuate objects in order to count them, to draw pictures, to write and recognise words, and to complete puzzles; and even the ability to know which bus stop to get off at when travelling. In WS, many of these visuospatial skills do not develop beyond the level of a typically developing six-year-old. However, there is considerable variation across levels of ability within this domain. This chapter outlines the characteristic profile of visuospatial abilities in WS within the context of developmental interactions between genes, brain, the environment, and behaviour.
Keywords: Williams syndrome; visuospatial abilities; developmental interactions; genes; brain; environment; behaviour
Chapter. 11238 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Social Psychology
Full text: subscription required