Thursday, June 19, 2008

UD professor examines spatial deficits in Williams syndrome children

UD professor examines spatial deficits in Williams syndrome children:

"“We believe that the spatial distortions we see in drawings and other visio-spatial construction tasks by people with Williams syndrome do not reflect corresponding distortions in their perception of the world. We will argue that this syndrome leaves spared a number of spatial cognitive subsystems, including object recognition and identification, biological motion perception and spatial languageŠand that some of the most profound deficits are not due to abnormal architecture, but to small misadjustments that culminate in large downward spiraling performance.”

One example of this, Hoffman said, is that persons with WS know that their drawings are not correct. The most common errors involved choosing an incorrect part and drawing it in an incorrect location. They can easily distinguish between correct and incorrect drawings of models, but they can’t do better when they try again, he said.

“Drawing or assembling parts to make a model is an extremely frustrating experience for them because they are aware of their poor abilities in this domain, and they usually resort to random changes in an effort to correct their efforts. However, the defect is not simply a problem with motor output either because they can trace drawings just fine. So their spatial deficits are not due simply to either problems in input (perception) or output (action) but to some cognitive processes in between. We are now trying to characterize the nature of these processes,” he said. "

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