Implicit versus explicit memory function in children with Down and Williams syndrome.

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The present study was aimed at evaluating implicit memory processes in participants with Williams syndrome and comparing them to children with Down syndrome and to mental-age matched typically developing children. For this purpose, tests of verbal and visuo-perceptual explicit memory, verbal and visual repetition priming as well as procedural learning tasks were administered to 12 participants with Williams syndrome, 14 with Down syndrome and 32 typically developing children. Participants with Williams syndrome showed a level of repetition priming similar to that of mental-age typically developing controls. In contrast, children with Williams syndrome showed a reduced learning rate in the two procedural tasks. As regards children with Down syndrome, we document comparable implicit memory abilities. In contrast, regarding explicit memory, typically developing children performed better than individuals with Down syndrome. This finding is relevant for our knowledge about the qualitative aspects of the anomalous cognitive development in individuals with intellectual disabilities and the neurobiological substrate underlying this development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalDown's syndrome, research and practice : the journal of the Sarah Duffen Centre / University of Portsmouth
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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