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Block design performance in the Williams syndrome phenotype: a problem with mental imagery

Farran, EK; Jarrold, C; Gathercole, SE; (2001) Block design performance in the Williams syndrome phenotype: a problem with mental imagery. The Journal Of Child Psychology and Psychiatry , 42 (6) pp. 719-728. 10.1111/1469-7610.00768. Green open access

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Abstract

Williams syndrome (WS) is a rare genetic disorder which, among other characteristics, has a distinctive cognitive profile. Nonverbal abilities are generally poor in relation to verbal abilities, but also show varying levels of ability in relation to each other. Performance on block construction tasks represents arguably the weakest nonverbal ability in WS. In this study we examined two requirements of block construction tasks in 21 individuals with WS and 21 typically developing (TD) control individuals. The Squares tasks, a novel two-dimensional block construction task, manipulated patterns by segmentation and perceptual cohesiveness to investigate the first factor, processing preference (local or global), and by obliqueness to examine the second factor, the ability to use mental imagery. These two factors were investigated directly by the Children's Embeded Figures Test (CEFT; Witkin, Oltman, Raskin, & Karp, 1971) and a mental rotation task respectively. Results showed that individuals with WS did not differ from the TD group in their processing style. However, the ability to use mental imagery was significantly poorer in the WS group than the TD group. This suggests that weak performance on the block construction tasks in WS may relate to an inability to use mental imagery.

Type: Article
Title: Block design performance in the Williams syndrome phenotype: a problem with mental imagery
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1469-7610.00768
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/1469-7610.00768
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Child, Cognition Disorders, Genotype, Humans, Imagination, In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence, Psychomotor Performance, Space Perception, Williams Syndrome
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1477865
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