Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Brain Architecture and Williams Syndrome | Psychology Today

Brain Architecture and Williams Syndrome | Psychology Today:

"As brain studies continue, we are learning more about the neurological basis of WS. This week, an important new report was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A team of scientists led by the National Institutes of Health has now found in Williams syndrome cases changes in the connectivity and volume of gray matter in a brain region called the anterior insula (AI), which is thought to control emotion and personality.

The researchers found an overall decrease in gray-matter volume in one region of the AI, along with locally increased volume in another area; compromised white-matter integrity of the structure that connects the insula with some other brain regions; and disturbed neuron interactions between the AI and limbic regions known to be involved in processing emotions. Perhaps most important, the team found that differences in the AI correlate with the extent of WS characteristics. The greater the number and degree of the AI changes, the more of the typical WS behaviors that can be observed and measured in the person."

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