Visually guided step descent in children with Williams syndrome

Cowie, Dorothy; Braddick, Oliver J. and Atkinson, Janette. 2012. Visually guided step descent in children with Williams syndrome. Developmental Science, 15(1), pp. 74-86. ISSN 1363-755X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) have impairments in visuospatial tasks and in manual visuomotor control, consistent with parietal and cerebellar abnormalities. Here we examined whether individuals with WS also have difficulties in visually controlling whole-body movements. We investigated visual control of stepping down at a change of level in children with WS (5–16-year-olds), who descended a single step while their movement was kinematically recorded. On each trial step height was set unpredictably, so that visual information was necessary to perceive the step depth and position the legs appropriately before landing. Kinematic measures established that children with WS did not use visual information to slow the leg at an appropriate point during the step. This pattern contrasts with that observed in typically developing 3- and 4-year-old children, implying severe impairment in whole-body visuomotor control in WS. For children with WS, performance was not significantly predicted by lowlevel visual or balance problems, but improved significantly with verbal age. The results suggest some plasticity and development in WS whole-body control. These data clearly show that visuospatial and visuomotor deficits in WS extend to the locomotor domain. Taken together with evidence for parietal and cerebellar abnormalities in WS, these results also provide new evidence for the role of these circuits in the visual control of whole-body movement.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2011.01104.x

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology > InfantLab

Dates:

DateEvent
January 2012Published

Item ID:

6724

Date Deposited:

19 Apr 2012 09:33

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:45

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/6724

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