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Divided attention, selective attention and drawing: processing preferences in Williams syndrome are dependent on the task administered

Farran, EK; Jarrold, C; Gathercole, SE; (2003) Divided attention, selective attention and drawing: processing preferences in Williams syndrome are dependent on the task administered. Neuropsychologia , 41 (6) pp. 676-687. 10.1016/S0028-3932(02)00219-1. Green open access

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Abstract

The visuo-spatial abilities of individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) have consistently been shown to be generally weak. These poor visuo-spatial abilities have been ascribed to a local processing bias by some [R. Rossen, E.S. Klima, U. Bellugi, A. Bihrle, W. Jones, Interaction between language and cognition: evidence from Williams syndrome, in: J. Beitchman, N. Cohen, M. Konstantareas, R. Tannock (Eds.), Language, Learning and Behaviour disorders: Developmental, Behavioural and Clinical Perspectives, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1996, pp. 367-392] and conversely, to a global processing bias by others [Psychol. Sci. 10 (1999) 453]. In this study, two identification versions and one drawing version of the Navon hierarchical processing task, a non-verbal task, were employed to investigate this apparent contradiction. The two identification tasks were administered to 21 individuals with WS, 21 typically developing individuals, matched by non-verbal ability, and 21 adult participants matched to the WS group by mean chronological age (CA). The third, drawing task was administered to the WS group and the typically developing (TD) controls only. It was hypothesised that the WS group would show differential processing biases depending on the type of processing the task was measuring. Results from two identification versions of the Navon task measuring divided and selective attention showed that the WS group experienced equal interference from global to local as from local to global levels, and did not show an advantage of one level over another. This pattern of performance was broadly comparable to that of the control groups. The third task, a drawing version of the Navon task, revealed that individuals with WS were significantly better at drawing the local form in comparison to the global figure, whereas the typically developing control group did not show a bias towards either level. In summary, this study demonstrates that individuals with WS do not have a local or a global processing bias when asked to identify stimuli, but do show a local bias in their drawing abilities. This contrast may explain the apparently contrasting findings from previous studies.

Type: Article
Title: Divided attention, selective attention and drawing: processing preferences in Williams syndrome are dependent on the task administered
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/S0028-3932(02)00219-1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0028-3932(02)00219-1
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: Adult, Attention, Case-Control Studies, Child, Discrimination Learning, Female, Humans, Male, Perception, Psychomotor Performance, Williams Syndrome, Hierarchical processingLocal–globalVisuo-spatial perceptionDrawing ability
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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/1477866
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