Meaning, grammar and cognition in Williams syndrome

On April 12, 2019 by Clara Soberats


The cognitive profile of people with Williams syndrome (WS) has been used as evidence for the separation of language and cognition, due to an apparent disproportion between linguistic and visual abilities. Such people are often really social and talkative; however, their chat is sometimes characterized as ‘cocktail party speech’, i.e. as speech mainly oriented towards social interaction rather than substantive content. That suggests a failure of referential and compositional meaning. In this project, funded by a MINECO grant, we will pursue an experimental study in which this semantic deficit will be described and its neurocognitive basis identified, in an attempt to shed light on the neural mechanisms that underlie meaning in both developmental disorders and neurotypical cognition.

We are in collaboration with the Asociació Catalana de Síndrome de Williams (ACSW) , the Hospital Son Espases (Mallorca), and the EEG lab of the Brain and Plasticity Unit (Brainvitge) in the Hospital de Bellvitge (Barcelona).

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