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A genetic disorder yields insight into genes and cognition

ention to identity would activate the ventral stream, and attention to location would activate the dorsal stream.

The fMRI images revealed that the people with WS showed significantly lower neural activity in the dorsal stream of the visual cortex.

Higher-resolution structural MRI imaging revealed a reduction in the volume of gray matter in an adjacent brain region. The researchers' studies also showed that impaired input from this region could cause the reduced function.

The researchers concluded that "Our observations confirm a longstanding hypothesis about dorsal stream dysfunction in WS, demonstrate effects of a localized abnormality on visual information processing in humans, and define a systems-level phenotype for mapping genetic determinants of visuoconstructive function."

Such insights, they said, should help scientists trace the genetic origin and molecular causes of the disorder.


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Contact: Heidi Hardman
hhardman@cell.com
617-397-2879
Cell Press
1-Sep-2004


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