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      Neural correlates of visual integration in Williams syndrome: gamma oscillation patterns in a model of impaired coherence.

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          Abstract

          Williams syndrome (WS) is a clinical model of dorsal stream vulnerability and impaired visual integration. However, little is still known about the neurophysiological correlates of perceptual integration in this condition. We have used a 3D structure-from-motion (SFM) integrative task to characterize the neuronal underpinnings of 3D perception in WS and to probe whether gamma oscillatory patterns reflect changed holistic perception. Coherent faces were parametrically modulated in 3D depth (three different depth levels) to vary levels of stimulus ambiguity. We have found that the electrophysiological (EEG/ERP) correlates of such holistic percepts were distinct across groups. Independent component analysis demonstrated the presence of a novel component with a late positivity around 200 ms that was absent in controls. Source localization analysis of ERP signals showed a posterior occipital shift in WS and reduced parietal dorsal stream sources. Interestingly, low gamma-band oscillations (20-40 Hz) induced by this 3D perceptual integration task were significantly stronger and sustained during the stimulus presentation in WS whereas high gamma-band oscillations (60-90 Hz) were reduced in this clinical model of impaired visual coherence, as compared to controls. These observations suggest that dorsal stream processing of 3D SFM stimuli has distinct neural correlates in WS and different cognitive strategies are employed by these patients to reach visual coherence. Importantly, we found evidence for the presence of different sub-bands (20-40 Hz/60-90 Hz) within the gamma range which can be dissociated concerning the respective role on the coherent percept formation, both in typical and atypical development.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Neuropsychologia
          Neuropsychologia
          Elsevier BV
          1873-3514
          0028-3932
          Jun 2013
          : 51
          : 7
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Visual Neuroscience Laboratory, IBILI, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.
          Article
          S0028-3932(13)00092-4
          10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.03.020
          23587664

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