Examined hypotheses for the neural basis of the profile of visual cognition in young children with Williams syndrome (WS). These are: (a) that it is a consequence of anomalies in sensory visual processing, (b) that it is a deficit of the dorsal relative to the ventral cortical stream, (c) that it reflects deficit of frontal function, in particular of frontoparietal interaction, and (d) that it is related to impaired function in the right hemisphere relative to the left. The tests reported here are particularly relevant to hypotheses 2 and 3. They form part of a more extensive program investigating visual, visuospatial, and cognitive function in large group of children with WS children, aged 8 mo to 15 yrs. In this article the relation between dorsal and ventral function is tested by motion and form coherence thresholds, respectively. The authors confirm the presence of a subgroup of children with WS who perform particularly poorly on the motion (dorsal) task. However, such performance is also characteristic of normally developing children up to 5 yrs; thus the WS performance may reflect an overall persisting immaturity of visuospatial processing that is particularly evident in the dorsal stream. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
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