Williams syndrome development study (WiSDom)


This study examines cognitive development in people with WS using cross-sectional and longitudinal data that has been collected across 5 different labs in the South of London. Most of this work was inspired by Annette Karmiloff-Smith who carried out a lof of studies on development in Williams syndrome and the WisDom project includes a lot of the data collected by her lab.

By putting together data already collected, as well as collecting new data, the current study examines the cognitive profiles of adults with Williams syndrome later on in life, using a relatively large sample size from different points over an extended time span.

The study includes two parts. In first instance we have brought together existing data from different labs around Greater London that have worked with children and adults with Williams syndrome to examine development in Williams syndrome. 

In the second part we have collected new data from adults with Williams syndrome, focussing on those over the age of 40 to examine cognitive abilities later on in life.

We are currently analysing the data so stay tuned.

This study is funded by the Williams Syndrome Foundation with a grant to Dr Jo Van Herwegen (PI), and Prof Michael Thomas.

WisDom team: Prof Emily Farran (University of Surrey), Prof Chris Jarrold (University of Bristol), Dr Harry Purser (Kingston University), Prof Gaia Scerif (University of Oxford), Prof Michael Thomas (Bikrbeck University of London), Prof Vesna Stojanovik (University of Reading), & Dr Jo Van Herwegen (UCL, Institute of Education).


Presentations and publications:

Purser, H.R.M., Thomas, M.S.C., Farran, E.K., Karmiloff-Smith, A. & Van Herwegen, J. (2019). Comparing cross-sectional and longitudinal trajectories for vocabulary and nonverbal reasoning in Williams syndrome. Poster presentation SRCD Baltimore.