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Attention, Genes, and Developmental Disorders$
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Kim Cornish and John Wilding

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179941

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179941.001.0001

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Advances in Attention, Genes, and Developmental Disorders

Advances in Attention, Genes, and Developmental Disorders

An Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Advances in Attention, Genes, and Developmental Disorders
Source:
Attention, Genes, and Developmental Disorders
Author(s):

Kim Cornish

John Wilding

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179941.003.0001

This introductory chapter emphasizes the importance of rooting research in an interdisciplinary framework that can investigate attention across multiple levels: genetic, brain, cognitive, and behavioral. Attention covers a range of cognitive processes that include selection, maintenance, and control, and methods of study must be devised that view the capacity for attention as the child is developing rather than working on the assumption that attentional profiles are relatively stable over time. A new generation of sophisticated technologies is being developed that can help to elucidate attentional trajectories and profiles in atypical development from infancy onwards. The focus is on six neurodevelopmental disorders that have disparate genetic causes but yet display, at first glance, similar levels of attention and Executive Function impairment: Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism, Fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, and 22q11 Deletion Syndrome. However, these commonalities in atypical behaviors may not necessarily imply similar cognitive mechanisms and pathways. If this is the case then treatment approaches need to recognize and target disorder-specific “signatures.”

Keywords:   interdisciplinary studies, disorders of attention, development of attention, genetics, ADHD, autism, fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, 22q11 deletion syndrome

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