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The Relationship Between Sound–Shape Matching and Cognitive Ability in Adults With Down Syndrome

Hamburg, S; Startin, CM; Strydom, A; (2017) The Relationship Between Sound–Shape Matching and Cognitive Ability in Adults With Down Syndrome. Multisensory Research , 30 (6) pp. 537-547. 10.1163/22134808-00002579. Green open access

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Abstract

Down syndrome (DS), the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability, is characterised by a pattern of cognitive deficits hypothesised as relating to later developing neural systems. Multisensory integration (MSI) has been shown to benefit cognitive performance on numerous tasks in the typically developing population and is implicated in the early development of various cognitive processes. Given these developmental links of both MSI and DS it is important to determine the relationship between MSI and DS. This study aimed to characterise sound–shape matching performance in young adults with DS as an indicator of MSI (correct response rate around 90% in typically developing individuals). We further investigated the relationship between task performance and estimated cognitive ability (verbal and non-verbal) in addition to everyday adaptive behavior skills. Those answering correctly (72.5%) scored significantly higher across cognitive and adaptive behavior measures compared to those answering incorrectly. Furthermore, 57.1% of individuals with estimated cognitive ability scores below the median value answered correctly compared to 89.5% of individuals scoring above the median, with similar values found for adaptive behavior skills (57.9% vs. 94.4%). This preliminary finding suggests sound–shape matching deficits are relatively common in DS but may be restricted to individuals of lower ability as opposed to being a general characteristic of DS. Further studies investigating aspects of MSI across a range of modalities are necessary to fully characterise the nature of MSI in DS and to explore underlying neural correlates and mechanisms.

Type: Article
Title: The Relationship Between Sound–Shape Matching and Cognitive Ability in Adults With Down Syndrome
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1163/22134808-00002579
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1163/22134808-00002579
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: Down syndrome, multisensory integration, kiki–bouba, cognitive ability, intellectual disability
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1561501
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