Dorsal-stream motion processing deficits persist into adulthood in Williams syndrome.
Atkinson J., Braddick O., Rose FE., Searcy YM., Wattam-Bell J., Bellugi U.
Previous studies of children with Williams syndrome (WS) have found a specific deficit in dorsal cortical stream function, indicated by poor performance in coherence thresholds for motion compared to form. Here we investigated whether this is a transient developmental feature or a persisting aspect of cerebral organization in WS. Motion and form coherence thresholds were tested in a group of 45 WS individuals aged 16-42 years, and 19 normal adult controls. Although there was considerable variation in the coherence thresholds across individuals with WS, the WS group showed overall worse performance than controls. A significant group x threshold condition interaction showed a substantially greater performance deficit for motion than for form coherence in the WS group relative to controls. This result suggests that the motion deficit is an enduring feature in WS and is a marker for one aspect of dorsal-stream vulnerability.