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Williams Syndrome

Williams syndrome (WS), or Williams-Beuren syndrome, is a neurodevelopmental disorder with a defined genetic basis. Population prevalence estimates range from approximately 1 in 20,000 to 1 in 7,500 and serve to illustrate the rarity of the condition when compared to prevalence estimates for Down syndrome. A surge of scientific interest in WS began in the late 20th century. Initial descriptions of the syndrome referred to people with dramatically different abilities: normal linguistic and social abilities against a backdrop of severe impairments in spatial skills (e.g., spatial perception and working memory, visuospatial construction and planning). Such descriptions were used to support claims of modularity in the brain (a collection of independent modules for different abilities, which were thought to be selectively spared or impaired in WS). ...

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