Genetic disorders as models of mathematics learning disability: Fragile X and turner syndromes

Melissa M. Murphy, Michèle M.M. Mazzocco, Michael McCloskey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Neurodevelopmental disorders and mathematics learning disability: Poor math achievement is well documented in both children and adults with fragile X or Turner syndrome (Bennetto et al., 2001; Brainard et al., 1991; Grigsby et al., 1990; Mazzocco, 1998, 2001; Rovet, 1993; Rovet et al., 1994; Temple & Marriott, 1998). However, there is limited understanding of the cognitive mechanisms that contribute to these poor math outcomes. Specification of these underlying causes is the necessary next step in research on the cognitive phenotypes for these disorders (Mazzocco & McCloskey, 2005). Our efforts to understand the origins of mathematical cognition in fragile X and Turner syndromes are guided by existing knowledge in the field of mathematics learning disability (MLD). This body of research provides a conceptual framework for the contribution of different cognitive systems, such as executive function, visual–spatial, and language skills, to overall competence in mathematics (see Geary, 1993, 1994) as elaborated later in this chapter. Accordingly, the assessment of math ability in persons with fragile X or Turner syndrome is most informative when examined in the context of the overall cognitive phenotype, or the set of cognitive characteristics, associated with each disorder. Although models of MLD are informative for understanding mathematical functioning in genetic conditions such as fragile X or Turner syndrome, the study of these syndromes may also inform the broader field of MLD research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGenes, Brain and Development
Subtitle of host publicationThe Neurocognition of Genetic Disorders
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9780511770708
ISBN (Print)9780521685368
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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