Exploring the Williams syndrome face-processing debate: the importance of building developmental trajectories

Health Sciences & Medicine
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The past decade has seen an increasing rise in interest and need for resolving the topic of face processing in Williams syndrome (WS). The early findings about the normally developing face-processing module were questioned by studies proposing that WS patients used a different balance of cognitive processing from controls, even when their behavioural scores were in the normal range.


In the first experiment photos of real faces were used as stimuli. Although, the accuracy exhibited by all the groups was broadly same, the WS subjects performed worse in configural condition when faces were upright and were less sensitive than controls to face inversion. The second experiment made an attempt to measure the face processing ability by making use of a storybook. The results showed that the effect of face inversion was significant in control group but not so in the WS patients. The study also revealed a possibility of different developmental patterns of face processing in the two groups. The findings of the experiment 3 reported a configural-processing deficit in WS patients with respect to their chronological age (CA) and the performance level. The study had made use of schematic faces and non-face stimuli and had brought forth an unexpected finding on the comparison of the accuracy data in the simultaneous vs. sequentially presented conditions. It was observed in the simultaneous condition that the control group responded more accurately to configurally transformed faces than to the ones which were featurally transformed.
William syndrome is a rare, genetically based syndrome in which around 25 genes are deleted ...
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