Virginia Volterra

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Recent studies on subjects with Williams syndrome (WS) have revealed a particular facility for language, rarely observed in other mental retarded populations, inspiring much belief in the independence of language from cognition. Lexical and morphosyntactic abilities of 17 Italian WS individuals, between 4.10 and 15.3 years of age, were evaluated both in(More)
Important claims have been made regarding the contrasting profiles of linguistic and cognitive performance observed in two genetically based syndromes, Williams syndrome (WS) and Down syndrome (DS). Earlier studies suggested a double dissociation, with language better preserved than nonverbal cognition in children and adults with WS, and an opposite profile(More)
Williams syndrome (WS) is a rare genetic condition characterised by intellectual disability, typical facial dysmorphology and several medical anomalies. A specific neuropsychological profile with a dissociation between language (relatively preserved) and visuo-spatial abilities (more seriously impaired) has been hypothesised in these children. Memory(More)
To investigate the relationship between language acquisition and cognition, we evaluated linguistic abilities in 12 Italian-speaking children with Williams syndrome (WS) and 12 with Down syndrome (DS) of comparable global cognitive level. Another control group included 12 typically developing (TD) children, matched for mental age. Linguistic measures(More)
A common profile in English-speaking specifically language-impaired children is a moderate deficit across a broad range of linguistic features and a more marked, selective impairment in using bound morphemes and components of the verb system. To gain a clearer understanding of the nature of these more serious problems, we examined the speech of monolingual(More)
This study investigates lexical organization and lexical retrieval in children with Williams syndrome (WS), by examining both naming accuracy and accompanying use of gestures in a picture-naming task. Ten children with the genetic disorder of Williams syndrome (age range: 9.5-12.9) were compared with 20 typically developing children, 10 matched for(More)
Neuropsychologic and neurolinguistic studies performed on an 11-year-old Landau-Kleffner boy are reported. At age 3 his language began to deteriorate progressively until complete disappearance. At the same time, the patient developed epileptic seizures. When 6 years old, he was taught to match objects to the corresponding written word, and subsequently he(More)
Laterality (hand, foot, ear, and eye) was assessed in participants with Trisomy 21 (62) and Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) (39). Handedness was also assessed in a card reaching task. The comparison group included 184 typically developing persons. Two independent age sub-groups were formed: 7 to 10 years old and 11 to 34 years old. We confirmed previous(More)
Persons with trisomy 21 (T21) and Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) have different brain abnormalities which may affect manual laterality. We assessed 45 persons with T21 and 34 with WBS (mean age 13) and 81 typically developing children (TD). Manual laterality was assessed with a fifteen-item task administered two times, and Bishop's card-reaching task. We(More)
Previous studies of linguistic and memory abilities in Italian-speaking children with Williams syndrome (WS) and Down syndrome (DS)are briefly reviewed. New data on linguistic performance of 6 Italian children with WS between 3 and 6 years of age are presented and compared with data on linguistic performance of 6 children with DS selected from a larger(More)