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Pediatr Res. 1989 Jun;25(6):577-9.

Verbal and spatial processing efficiency in 32 children with sex chromosome abnormalities.

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  • 1National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Denver, Colorado 80206.


Spatial and linguistic processing efficiency was evaluated in sixty 8- to 18-yr-old children, including thirteen 47,XXY boys, eleven 47,XXX girls, six girls with 45,X, two girls with 46,X,Xq-, and 28 chromosomally normal controls. Results indicated that the 47,XXX girls performed significantly below controls on all four cognitive tests. Scores of the X monosomy group were reduced on both spatial tests, one requiring rapid information processing and one without time requirements, which is consistent with previous reports of spatial thinking deficits in these propositae. The X monosomy girls also had difficulty completing the high efficiency but not the low efficiency verbal tests. Scores in the 47,XXY group did not differ from controls on either spatial test or on the low efficiency verbal task. When required to rapidly access verbal information from memory, however, the performance of these boys was significantly impaired. This finding confirms earlier reports of impeded verbal fluency in these propositi. Alteration in capacity to rapidly process information appears to distinguish 47,XXY boys and X monosomy girls from their chromosomally normal peers, and suggests that adaptations in their educational setting should be introduced to allow additional time to learn and complete work.

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