Document Detail

Small and large number processing in infants and toddlers with Williams syndrome.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18801117     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Previous studies have suggested that typically developing 6-month-old infants are able to discriminate between small and large numerosities. However, discrimination between small numerosities in young infants is only possible when variables continuous with number (e.g. area or circumference) are confounded. In contrast, large number discrimination is successful even when variables continuous with number are systematically controlled for. These findings suggest the existence of different systems underlying small and large number processing in infancy. How do these develop in atypical syndromes? Williams syndrome (WS) is a rare neurocognitive developmental disorder in which numerical cognition has been found to be impaired in older children and adults. Do impairments of number processing have their origins in infancy? Here this question is investigated by testing the small and large number discrimination abilities of infants and toddlers with WS. While infants with WS were able to discriminate between 2 and 3 elements when total area was confounded with numerosity, the same infants did not discriminate between 8 and 16 elements, when number was not confounded with continuous variables. These findings suggest that a system for tracking the features of small numbers of object (object-file representation) may be functional in WS, while large number discrimination is impaired from an early age onwards. Finally, we argue that individual differences in large number processing in infancy are more likely than small number processing to be predictive of later development of numerical cognition.
Jo Van Herwegen; Daniel Ansari; Fei Xu; Annette Karmiloff-Smith
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Developmental science     Volume:  11     ISSN:  1467-7687     ISO Abbreviation:  Dev Sci     Publication Date:  2008 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-09-19     Completed Date:  2009-05-18     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9814574     Medline TA:  Dev Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  637-43     Citation Subset:  IM    
Neurocognitive Development Unit, UCL Institute of Child Health, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Attention / physiology*
Child Development*
Child, Preschool
Cognition / physiology*
Discrimination Learning / physiology*
Problem Solving / physiology
Psychological Tests
Visual Perception / physiology*
Williams Syndrome / psychology*
Grant Support
R21TW06761-01/TW/FIC NIH HHS

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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