Visuospatial interpolation in typically developing children and in people with Williams Syndrome

Melanie Palomares, Barbara Landau, Howard Egeth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Visuospatial interpolation is the estimation of object position or contour shape computed from known "anchor" positions. We characterized the developmental profile of interpolation by measuring positional thresholds as a function of inter-element separation without (Experiment 1) and with (Experiment 2) the context of illusory contours in typically developing children, typical adults and individuals with Williams Syndrome (WS), a genetic disorder that causes impaired global visuospatial abilities. We found that typically developing children and WS individuals had more difficulty integrating information across distant elements than typical adults. However, illusory contours improved thresholds in all participant groups in a similar way. Our results suggest that in WS individuals, and in typically developing children, the grouping mechanisms that enable long-range spatial integration are immature. We hypothesize that WS individuals and young children can use stimulus-driven grouping cues for bottom-up integration, but have immature mechanisms for top-down integration of spatial information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2439-2450
Number of pages12
JournalVision Research
Issue number23-24
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Development
  • Illusory contours
  • Interpolation
  • Perceptual grouping
  • Positional acuity
  • Vernier acuity
  • Visual maturation
  • Visuospatial integration
  • Williams Syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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