The development of route learning in Down syndrome, Williams syndrome and typical development: investigations with virtual environments

Purser, HRM ORCID: 0000-0003-3307-8421, Farran, EK, Courbois, Y, Lemahieu, A, Sockeel, P, Mellier, D and Blades, M, 2015. The development of route learning in Down syndrome, Williams syndrome and typical development: investigations with virtual environments. Developmental Science, 18 (4), pp. 599-613. ISSN 1467-7687

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Abstract

The ability to navigate new environments has a significant impact on the daily life and independence of people with learning difficulties. The aims of this study were to investigate the development of route learning in Down syndrome (N=50), Williams syndrome (N=19), and typically developing children between 5- and 11-years-old (N=108); to investigate use of landmarks; and to relate cognitive functions to route learning ability in these groups. Overall, measures of attention and long-term memory were strongly associated with route learning, even once non-verbal ability was controlled for. All of the groups, including 5- to 6-year-old TD children, demonstrated the ability to make use of all landmark types to aid route learning; those near junctions, those further from junctions, and also distant landmarks (e.g., church spire, radio mast). Individuals with WS performed better than a matched subset of TD children on more difficult routes; we suggest that this is supported by relatively strong visual feature recognition in the disorder. Participants with DS who had relatively high levels of non-verbal ability performed at a similar level to TD participants.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Route learning in Williams syndrome and Down syndrome
Publication Title: Developmental Science
Creators: Purser, H.R.M., Farran, E.K., Courbois, Y., Lemahieu, A., Sockeel, P., Mellier, D. and Blades, M.
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Date: July 2015
Volume: 18
Number: 4
ISSN: 1467-7687
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1111/desc.12236DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 14 Oct 2016 11:23
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 14:07
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/28858

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