Strategies and biases in location memory in Williams syndrome
Farran, E.K. (2008) Strategies and biases in location memory in Williams syndrome. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 29 (5). pp. 385-397. ISSN 0891-4222
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2007.07.002
Individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) demonstrate impaired visuo-spatial abilities in comparison to their level of verbal ability. In particular, visuo-spatial construction is an area of relative weakness. It has been hypothesised that poor or atypical location coding abilities contribute strongly to the impaired abilities observed on construction and drawing tasks [Farran, E. K., & Jarrold, C. (2005). Evidence for unusual spatial location coding in Williams syndrome: An explanation for the local bias in visuo-spatial construction tasks? Brain and Cognition, 59, 159-172; Hoffman, J. E., Landau, B., & Pagani, B. (2003). Spatial breakdown in spatial construction: Evidence from eye fixations in children with Williams syndrome. Cognitive Psychology, 46, 260-301]. The current experiment investigated location memory in WS. Specifically, the precision of remembered locations was measured as well as the biases and strategies that were involved in remembering those locations. A developmental trajectory approach was employed; WS performance was assessed relative to the performance of typically developing (TD) children ranging from 4- to 8-year-old. Results showed differential strategy use in the WS and TD groups. WS performance was most similar to the level of a TD 4-year-old and was additionally impaired by the addition of physical category boundaries. Despite their low level of ability, the WS group produced a pattern of biases in performance which pointed towards evidence of a subdivision effect, as observed in TD older children and adults. In contrast, the TD children showed a different pattern of biases, which appears to be explained by a normalisation strategy. In summary, individuals with WS do not process locations in a typical manner. This may have a negative impact on their visuo-spatial construction and drawing abilities. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.