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Neurodevelopmental Disorders Across the LifespanA neuroconstructivist approach$
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Emily K. Farran and Annette Karmiloff-Smith

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199594818

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199594818.001.0001

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Mental state understanding and social interaction

Mental state understanding and social interaction

Chapter:
(p.279) Chapter 15 Mental state understanding and social interaction
Source:
Neurodevelopmental Disorders Across the Lifespan
Author(s):

Ruth Campos

María Sotillo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199594818.003.0071

A prominent characteristic of individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) is their hypersociability or overfriendliness. This chapter probed deeper into the social domain to explore mental state understanding and social interaction. It shows that individuals with WS often miss contextual cues in social interactions and that, relatedly, hypersociability can lead to isolation. When basic emotions are considered, individuals with WS are able to attribute expressions of emotions to emotional contexts. However, it is suggested that individuals with WS rely on more superficial cues at the expense of subtle cues. Taking a multidisciplinary examination of atypical social behaviour, the chapter points to atypical structure and functional activation of the amygdala in WS, and to the GTF2I gene. It discusses these interactions between brain, genes, and behaviour within the context of development and environmental influences.

Keywords:   hypersociability, Williams syndrome, mental states, psychological functioning, atypical structure

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