Dorsal and ventral stream mediated visual processing in genetic subtypes of Prader-Willi syndrome

Kate Woodcock, Glyn Humphreys, Christopher Oliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


Previous work has suggested that there are specific deficits in dorsal stream processing in a variety of developmental disorders. Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is associated with two main genetic subtypes, deletion and disomy. Relative strengths in visual processing are shown in PWS, although these strengths may be specific to the deletion subtype. We investigated visual processing in PWS using an adapted Simon task which contrasted location (dorsal stream) and shape identity (ventral stream) tasks. Compared to a group of typically developing children, children with PWS deletion showed a greater degree of impairment in the dorsal stream task than in the ventral stream task, a pattern similar to that shown in a group of boys with Fragile-X syndrome. When matched on a measure of non-verbal ability, children with PWS disomy showed the opposite pattern with better performance in the location compared to the shape task, although these task performance asymmetries may have been linked to executive control processes. It is proposed that children with PWS deletion show a relative strength in visual processing in the ventral stream along with a specific deficit in dorsal stream processing. In contrast, children with PWS disomy show neither effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2367-2373
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Paternal deletion
  • Uniparental disomy
  • Dorsal stream vulnerability
  • Chromosome 15
  • Fragile-X syndrome
  • Dorsal stream deficit


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