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Profiles of spatial abilities in Down and Williams syndromes

English title Profiles of spatial abilities in Down and Williams syndromes
Applicant Lavenex Pierre
Number 165481
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut de psychologie Faculté des Sciences Sociales et Politiques Université de Lausanne
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline Psychology
Start/End 01.10.2016 - 31.12.2021
Approved amount 300'919.00
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Keywords (7)

Trisomie 21; syndrome de Williams; hippocampus; Williams syndrome; Down syndrome; mémoire spatiale; navigation

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Le syndrome de Down (Trisomie 21 ou T21) et le syndrome de Williams (SW) sont des maladies génétiques caractérisées par un retard mental et une diminution des capacités de traitement des informations visuospatiales. Toutefois, les capacités spatiales nécessaires pour naviguer dans le monde réel n’ont pas fait l’objet d’études comparées chez les personnes atteintes de T21 ou de SW. Ce projet a pour but de pallier à ce manque de connaissance.
Lay summary

Nore cerveau a plusieurs manières de représenter l’espace. Si nous sommes statiques, l’espace est représenté de manière égocentrique, en relation à notre propre corps : cet objet se trouve à droite devant moi. Alors que si nous nous déplaçons, l’espace est représenté de manière allocentrique, la position d’un objet est codée en relation avec les autres objets constituant l’environnement, indépendamment de notre propre corps.

Dans une série d’expériences en environnement réel, nous étudierons les capacités de représentations spatiales de personnes atteintes de T21 et de SW. Les connaissances acquises nous permettront de mieux caractériser les capacités cognitives de personnes ayant des anomalies génétiques, et de mieux comprendre comment le cerveau humain contribue à la représentation spatiale de notre environnement.

Ce projet relève de la recherche fondamentale. Toutefois, la compréhension des capacités de représentations spatiales chez les personnes atteintes de T21 et de SW pourrait conduire au développement de stratégies d’apprentissage permettant une plus grande autonomie.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 06.06.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Age-Related Differences in Resting-State EEG and Allocentric Spatial Working Memory Performance
Jabès Adeline, Klencklen Giuliana, Ruggeri Paolo, Antonietti Jean-Philippe, Banta Lavenex Pamela, Lavenex Pierre (2021), Age-Related Differences in Resting-State EEG and Allocentric Spatial Working Memory Performance, in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 13, 1-19.
Resting‐State EEG Microstates Parallel Age‐Related Differences in Allocentric Spatial Working Memory Performance
Jabès Adeline, Klencklen Giuliana, Ruggeri Paolo, Michel Christoph M., Banta Lavenex Pamela, Lavenex Pierre (2021), Resting‐State EEG Microstates Parallel Age‐Related Differences in Allocentric Spatial Working Memory Performance, in Brain Topography, 34(4), 442-460.
A Critical Review of Spatial Abilities in Down and Williams Syndromes: Not All Space Is Created Equal
Banta Lavenex Pamela, Lavenex Pierre (2021), A Critical Review of Spatial Abilities in Down and Williams Syndromes: Not All Space Is Created Equal, in Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12, 1-17.
Le développement de la mémoire spatiale chez l'enfant entre 2 et 9 ans
Banta Lavenex Pamela, Ribordy LambertFarfalla, BostelmannMathilde, LavenexPierre (2021), Le développement de la mémoire spatiale chez l'enfant entre 2 et 9 ans, in Enfance, 1, 19-35.
Path Integration and Cognitive Mapping Capacities in Down and Williams Syndromes
Bostelmann Mathilde, Ruggeri Paolo, Rita Circelli Antonella, Costanzo Floriana, Menghini Deny, Vicari Stefano, Lavenex Pierre, Banta Lavenex Pamela (2020), Path Integration and Cognitive Mapping Capacities in Down and Williams Syndromes, in Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 1-22.
Children five-to-nine years old can use path integration to build a cognitive map without vision
Bostelmann Mathilde, Lavenex Pierre, Banta Lavenex Pamela (2020), Children five-to-nine years old can use path integration to build a cognitive map without vision, in Cognitive Psychology, 121, 101307-101307.
Les systèmes de mémoire spatiale et le syndrome de Williams
Bostelmann Mathilde, Bochud-FragnièreEmilie, LavenexPierre, Banta LavenexPamela (2019), Les systèmes de mémoire spatiale et le syndrome de Williams, in Approche Neuropsychologique des Apprentissages chez l'Enfant, 160, 358-365.
Low-Resolution Place and Response Learning Capacities in Down Syndrome
Bostelmann Mathilde, Costanzo Floriana, Martorana Lorelay, Menghini Deny, Vicari Stefano, Banta Lavenex Pamela, Lavenex Pierre (2018), Low-Resolution Place and Response Learning Capacities in Down Syndrome, in Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1-17.
Dissociation of spatial memory systems in Williams syndrome
Bostelmann Mathilde, Fragnière Emilie, Costanzo Floriana, Di Vara Silvia, Menghini Deny, Vicari Stefano, Lavenex Pierre, Banta Lavenex Pamela (2017), Dissociation of spatial memory systems in Williams syndrome, in Hippocampus, 27(11), 1192-1203.
The “when” and the “where” of single-trial allocentric spatial memory performance in young children: Insights into the development of episodic memory
Ribordy Lambert F., Lavenex P., Banta Lavenex P. (2017), The “when” and the “where” of single-trial allocentric spatial memory performance in young children: Insights into the development of episodic memory, in Developmental Psychobiology, 59(2), 185-196.

Datasets

Resting-state EEG recordings in 20-30-year-old and 65-75-year-old healthy humans

Author Jabès, Adeline; Klencklen, Giuliana; Ruggeri, Paolo; Banta Lavenex, Pamela; Lavenex, Pierre
Publication date 03.06.2021
Persistent Identifier (PID) 10.5281/zenodo.3875159
Repository Zenodo


Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Professor Stefano Vicari, Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
T21RS International Conference 2019 Poster Dissecting different learning and memory systems in Down syndrome 06.06.2019 Barelona, Spain Banta Lavenex Pamela; Fragnière Emilie; Lavenex Pierre;
Lemanic Neuroscience Doctoral School Poster How do people solve probabilistic classification learning tasks? 02.05.2019 Les Diablerets, Switzerland Fragnière Emilie;
Swiss Society for Neuroscience Meeting Poster How do people solve probabilistic classification learning tasks? 09.02.2019 Genève, Switzerland Banta Lavenex Pamela; Lavenex Pierre; Fragnière Emilie;
DZNE Interdisciplinary symposium on spatial cognition in aging and neurodegeneration (iSCAN) Talk given at a conference Working memory decline in normal aging: Memory load and representational demands affect performance 29.11.2018 Magdeburg, Germany Lavenex Pierre;
FENS meeting 2018 Poster Dissecting the development of different learning and memory systems in typically developing children 07.07.2018 Berlin, Germany Banta Lavenex Pamela; Lavenex Pierre; Fragnière Emilie;
Max Planck Institute for Human Development (MPIB) Workshop: ‘Hippocampal Network and Memory Across the Lifespan: Circuit, Code, Cognition’ Talk given at a conference Learning to remember our past: The development of the spatial and temporal components of episodic memory 24.05.2018 Budapest, Hungary Banta Lavenex Pamela;
Institute of Anatomy Seminar Series Individual talk Learning to remember our past: The development of the spatial and temporal components of episodic memory 10.10.2017 Zürich, Switzerland Banta Lavenex Pamela;
13th International Conference for Cognitive Neuroscience Poster Competitive interaction between spatial memory systems in Williams syndrome 05.08.2017 Amsterdam, Netherlands Fragnière Emilie;
T21RS International Conference 2017 Talk given at a conference Deciphering distinct “hippocampus-dependent” spatial memory processes in Down Syndrome 06.06.2017 Chicago, United States of America Banta Lavenex Pamela;
EMBL/EMBO Science and Society Conference ‘The Past in Present – The Making of Memories’ Talk given at a conference Learning to remember our past: The development of the spatial and temporal components of episodic memory 03.11.2016 Heidelberg, Germany Banta Lavenex Pamela;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
European Brain and Behaviour Society 04.09.2021 Lausanne, Switzerland
Swiss Society for Neuroscience Meeting 09.02.2019 Genève, Switzerland
Swiss Society for Neuroscience Meeting 09.02.2018 Zürich, Switzerland
Swiss Society for Neuroscience Meeting 27.01.2017 Lausanne, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Congrès de l'association neuchâteloise d'accueil et d'action psychiatrique Performances, exhibitions (e.g. for education institutions) 11.11.2021 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Lavenex Pierre;
Apéro Neurosciences, la semaine du cerveau Talk 13.03.2018 Fribourg, Switzerland Lavenex Pierre;
Séries sciences - Espace Horloger - Vallée de Joux Talk 23.11.2017 Le Sentier, Switzerland Lavenex Pierre;
Réunion annuelle - Association du syndrome de Williams Talk 05.11.2017 Concise, Switzerland Banta Lavenex Pamela; Lavenex Pierre; Fragnière Emilie;
Williams Tour Italy - Associazion genitori sindrome di Williams Talk 25.10.2017 Venezia, Italy Lavenex Pierre;
Assemblée Association Romande Trisomie 21 Talk 30.09.2017 Crans-Montana, Switzerland Jabes Adeline; Fragnière Emilie; Banta Lavenex Pamela; Lavenex Pierre;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Apéro Neurosciences, la semaine du cerveau Western Switzerland 2018
Media relations: radio, television Mémoire, neurosciences et semaine du cerveau Radio Fribourg Western Switzerland 2018
Talks/events/exhibitions I diversi sistemi di memoria e la sindrome di Williams International 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Les systèmes de mémoire et le syndrome de Down Western Switzerland 2017
Talks/events/exhibitions Les systèmes de mémoire et le syndrome de Williams Western Switzerland 2017

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
128996 The development of spatial relational memory in children. 01.01.2010 Marie Heim-Voegtlin grants

Abstract

Down syndrome (DS) and Williams syndrome (WS) are neurodevelopmental disorders with distinct genetic origins. Persons with these syndromes have cognitive deficits generically described as mild to moderate intellectual disability. However, over the last 20 years a concerted effort to compare the intellectual abilities of persons with DS and WS has led to the understanding that distinct etiologies yield distinct cognitive profiles. Nonetheless, the spatial abilities of these two populations have not yet been fully defined. Whereas a number of studies have investigated various aspects of spatial cognition, especially visuospatial processing, in DS and WS individuals, there has been no experiment appropriately designed to specifically assess basic real-world allocentric spatial capacities, which normally depend on the proper function of the hippocampus.The reasons for characterizing allocentric spatial memory processes in DS and WS are manifold: allocentric spatial memories are critical for the construction of cognitive maps, which are essential for developing independence and autonomy in individuals with intellectual disability; allocentric spatial memories are a fundamental component of episodic memory, and thus may serve as a proxy for assessing episodic memory function, especially in individuals with impaired language function; and finally, although allocentric spatial memory is one of the hallmark cognitive processes studied in mouse models of WS and DS, its impairment in humans with WS and DS has not been unequivocally demonstrated.Here, we propose to characterize the fundamental egocentric and allocentric spatial capacities of individuals with Down syndrome (DS), individuals with Williams syndrome (WS), and mental age-matched typically-developing (TD) children in controlled real-world environments.In Specific Aim 1, we will test the influence of spatial resolution on the allocentric and egocentric spatial memory abilities of DS, WS and TD individuals. Following our recent findings (1), we predict that about 50% of DS individuals will exhibit basic allocentric spatial capacities, which allow them to define locations with a low spatial resolution based on their topological relations to distal environmental cues, whereas 50% will not. We also predict that the performance of most DS individuals will be impaired on tasks requiring high spatial resolution capacities. In contrast, since WS individuals have severe visuospatial deficits, we predict that they will be impaired on all allocentric tasks integrating visual information, irrespective of spatial resolution. Individuals with DS and WS will perform relatively better in egocentric spatial tasks.In Specific Aim 2, we will test the ability of DS, WS and TD individuals to use self-generated motion information to build egocentric and allocentric representations of space in absence of vision. We hypothesize that, in absence of visual information, WS individuals will be able to form both egocentric and allocentric representations of space. Preserved ability to use self-generated motion information to represent space in an allocentric manner in WS will indicate that the impairments observed in other spatial tasks are most likely due to the reliance on corrupted dorsal visual stream input, and not the result of abnormal hippocampal processing. We predict that DS individuals will perform relatively well in tasks requiring them to use self-generated motion information to encode space in an egocentric manner. In contrast, we predict that whereas the DS individuals who are capable of forming an allocentric representation with vision in Experiment 1 will be able to build an allocentric spatial representation in absence of visual information, DS individuals who cannot create an allocentric representation with vision will be incapable of creating an allocentric representation in absence of visual information, thus suggesting specific hippocampal impairment.In Specific Aim 3, we will test DS and WS individuals with a number of neuropsychological exams that will allow us to identify measures that may correlate with our egocentric and allocentric spatial memory tasks, thus identifying clinical tasks for predicting allocentric processing deficits and, accordingly, hippocampal impairments.
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