Visuo-spatial and linguistic abilities in a twin with Williams syndrome

Virginia Volterra, E. Longobardi, G. Pezzini, S. Vicari, C. Antenore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study reports a case of dizygotic twins, one boy with Williams syndrome (WS) and one typically developing girl, and compares their neuropsychological profiles. The goal of the present authors was to verify whether the child with WS displayed a cognitive profile which is unique to the syndrome. Several tests designed to assess visuo-perceptual, visuo-motor, linguistic and memory abilities were administered to both children when they were 10.9 years old. Compared to his sister, the boy with WS displayed a homogeneous developmental delay in both non-verbal and verbal abilities. He achieved a level of performance similar to his sister only in facial recognition, phonological word fluency and memory for phonologically similar words. Furthermore, despite the overall delayed performance of the boy, both the twins displayed a cognitive profile characterized by strength in lexical comprehension and relative weakness in visuo-motor abilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-305
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1999


  • Language
  • Twins
  • Visuo-spatial ability
  • Williams syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Education
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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