Spatial Representation: From Gene to Mind

Hardcover | October 9, 2012

byBarbara Landau, James E. Hoffman

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Our experience of the spatial world is a unitary one; we perceive objects and layouts, we remember them and act on them, and we can even talk about them with ease. Despite this impression of seamlessness, spatial representations in human adults appear to be specialized in domain-dependentmanner, engaging different properties and computational mechanisms for different functions. In this book, the authors present evidence that this domain-specific specialization in cognitive function emerges early in development and is reflected in patterns of breakdown that occur under genetic defect. The authors focus on spatial representation in children and adults with Williams syndrome,a relatively rare genetic syndrome that gives rise to an unusual profile of severely impaired spatial representation together with spared language. Results from a variety of spatial domains - including object representation, motion perception, action, navigation, and spatial language - appear todisplay a strikingly uneven profile of sparing and deficit within spatial representations, consistent with the idea that specialization of function drives development and breakdown. These findings raise a crucial question: Can specific genes target specific aspects of cognitive structure? Looking deeper into the patterns of performance across spatial domains, the book explores the notion that understanding patterns of normal development across domains is crucial to understanding unusual development. Using insights from normal development, the authors propose a speculative hypothesisthat explains the emergence of the William syndrome profile, and how complex cognitive outcomes can arise from the deletion of a small set of genes.

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Our experience of the spatial world is a unitary one; we perceive objects and layouts, we remember them and act on them, and we can even talk about them with ease. Despite this impression of seamlessness, spatial representations in human adults appear to be specialized in domain-dependentmanner, engaging different properties and comput...

Barbara Landau is a cognitive scientist who works on the representation of space and language and the mapping between the two systems. She has carried out work on normally developing children and normal adults, as well as children and adults with neurological impairment, including people with Williams syndrome. Before coming to Johns H...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:October 9, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195385373

ISBN - 13:9780195385373

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Table of Contents

1. The Puzzle of Williams Syndrome1.1 Hallmarks of the WS cognitive profile1.2 Three principles for solving the puzzle1.2.1 How can genes cause cognitive deficits? Complexity of the chain, and the importance of cognition1.2.2 The cognitive architecture of space: The importance of specialization of function1.2.3 Timing matters: The importance of normal development1.3 Summary2. Background on the problem: Genes, Brains, and the Hallmark Spatial Profile2.1 Genes and the WS profile2.1.1 LIMK1 and the spatial deficit2.2 Brain structure and function2.2.1 Brain structure2.2.2 Brain function2.3 Understanding the block construction task and why it might be so difficult2.3.1 The cognitive requirements of the block construction task2.3.2 Components of the block task2.3.3 Summary of the cognitive components of the block construction task and reflections on possible brain correlates2.3.3 Summary of the cognitive components of the block construction task and reflections on possible brain correlates3. Objects3.1 Object recognition and levels of processing in the visual system3.1.1 Levels of visual analysis for objects3.2 Object Recognition in People with Williams Syndrome3.2.2 Middle Level3.2.3 Vision3.2.3.1 Visual Grouping3.2.3.2 Grouping from motion3.2.3.3 Summary of evidence on grouping3.2.4 High level vision: Object recognition3.2.4.1 Recognizing familiar objects3.2.4.2 A special problem: Handedness, or left-right reflections3.2.4.3 Summary of evidence on object recognition3.3 Face recognition3.3.1 Summary of evidence on face recognition3.4 Summary4. Objects in Places4.1 Review of the components of the block construction task and their relationship to parietal functions4.2 Marking objects: More than one at a time, but only up to 24.3 Locating objects: Constructing and using reference frames4.3.1 Matching locations: Are object locations defined in terms of a reference system?4.3.2 Copying locations: Axes, directions, and spatial precision in location representations4.3.2.1 Copying: Task 14.3.2.2 Copying: Task 24.3.3 Summary of locating objects: Matching, copying4.4 Acting on objects4.5 Summary of marking, locating, and acting on objects5. Finding our Way5.1 The components of navigation: Division of labor5.1.1 Egocentric and allocentric reference systems5.1.2 The importance of geometry for allocentric representations5.1.3 The special importance of geometric layouts for re-establishing one's orientation after becoming disoriented5.1.4 Summary of behavioral and neural findings5.2 Navigation in people with WS5.2.1 Oriented navigation: Egocentric and allocentric reference systems5.2.2 Reorientation and the geometric representation of layouts5.3 Summary6. Space and Language6.1 Structure in Spatial language: Places and Paths6.1.1 Geometric meanings of prepositions and reference object construals6.1.2 A basic fact: The small lexicon of place and path terms results in coarse coding of space by language6.1.3 Spatial language and Williams syndrome6.2. Paths6.2.1 The language of motion events: Figure, reference object, motion, path6.2.2 Overall Results6.2.3 Path expression6.2.4 A follow up study: Bias to express TO paths, bias to omit FROM paths6.2.5 Summary: The language of motion events6.3 Places6.3.1 Production task6.3.1.1 Do axial terms engage axes?6.3.1.2 Do axial terms engage direction within axes?6.3.1.3 What else were they saying?6.3.2 Comprehension task6.3.2.1 Do axial terms engage axes?6.3.2.2 Do axial terms engage direction within axes?6.3.3 Summary: Studies of axial term Production and Comprehension6.4 Beyond concrete physical spatial relationships6.4.1 Using "geometric imagination:" Matching spatial prepositions and reference objects6.4.2 The study6.4.2.1 Stimuli and procedure6.4.2.2 Results6.4.3 Summary of abstract uses of spatial prepositions6.5 How do findings on spatial language fit with other aspects of language in people with WS6.5.1 Vocabulary onset and growth6.5.2 Spatial vocabulary: findings from other labs6.5.3 Morphosyntax6.5.4 Syntax6.5.4.1 Subject and object-relative clauses6.5.4.2 Hierarchical structure, c-command, and the interaction of "not" and "or6.5.4.3 Binding, Raising, and Passives6.5.5 Summary of pattern for broad aspects of language7. Conclusions: Revisiting the Puzzle of Williams Syndrome7.1 Specialization of function7.1.1 Specialization of function by domain7.1.1.1 Spatial representation in people with WS embodies rich and highly differentiated structure, as in normal development7.1.1.2 Face perception vs. reorientation7.1.2 Specialization of function by stream of visual processing: Dorsal vs. ventral streams7.2 Developmental timing7.2.1 Two examples7.2.2 Extension to other spatial functions7.2.3 Extension to language7.3 A developmental mechanism: Slow development, arrest at an early functional level7.4 Is that all there is? What slow development and early arrest cannot account for7.4.1 Spatial systems that flourish, spatial systems that fail7.4.2 Cognitive systems that continue to grow7.4.2.1 Vocabulary growth7.4.2.2 Reading and mathematical skill7.4.2.3 Copying7.5 Remaining puzzlesAppendix AAppendix BReferencesAuthor IndexSubject Index