Article

The Contribution of Developmental Models Toward Understanding Gene-to-Behavior Mapping: The Case of Williams Syndrome

Mayada Elsabbagh and Annette Karmiloff-Smith

in The Oxford Handbook of Intellectual Disability and Development

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195305012
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195305012.013.0003

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 The Contribution of Developmental Models Toward Understanding Gene-to-Behavior Mapping: The Case of Williams Syndrome

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This chapter discusses the ways in which research findings about the genetic, developmental, neuroanatomical, and behavioral characteristics of persons with Williams syndrome (WS) are incorporated into theoretical models of gene—environment interactions, and it critically evaluates the rationale and assumptions of each approach. It demonstrates that, despite the wealth of findings from research into WS, developmental questions concerning the link of genes to behavioral outcomes are yet to be resolved. The chapter discusses three approaches to the neurocognitive study of WS, including neuropsychological approaches; bridging gene, brain, and cognition; and developmental approaches. Differences in objectives, assumptions, hypotheses, and consequently, the in methodology of these approaches are addressed. The analysis will focus on how these approaches apply to WS as an illustration of their broader applicability to special populations in general.

Keywords: Williams syndrome; neuropsychological approaches; bridging approach; cognition; gene-to-behavior mapping

Article.  8812 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Developmental Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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