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date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the ways in which research findings about the genetic, developmental, neuroanatomical, and behavioral characteristics of persons with Williams syndrome (WS) are incorporated into theoretical models of gene—environment interactions, and it critically evaluates the rationale and assumptions of each approach. It demonstrates that, despite the wealth of findings from research into WS, developmental questions concerning the link of genes to behavioral outcomes are yet to be resolved. The chapter discusses three approaches to the neurocognitive study of WS, including neuropsychological approaches; bridging gene, brain, and cognition; and developmental approaches. Differences in objectives, assumptions, hypotheses, and consequently, the in methodology of these approaches are addressed. The analysis will focus on how these approaches apply to WS as an illustration of their broader applicability to special populations in general.

Keywords: Williams syndrome, neuropsychological approaches, bridging approach, cognition, gene-to-behavior mapping

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