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Am J Ment Retard. 2007 May;112(3):194-206.

Emotional responsivity in young children with Williams syndrome.

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Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1570, USA.


The hypothesis that young children with Williams syndrome show higher rates of emotional responsivity relative to other children with developmental disabilities was explored. Performance of 23 young children with Williams syndrome and 30 MA-matched children with developmental disabilities of nonspecific etiologies was compared on an adaptation of Repacholi and Gopnik's (1997) "Yummy-Yucky" task. Results show that children with Williams syndrome were more likely to mimic and/or imitate facial affect and vocalizations than children in the mixed comparison group. Yet, this increased emotional responsivity did not substantially improve decision-making based on the affective display; children with Williams syndrome were more likely to attempt to convince the experimenter that the disliked food was likable. Implications of a social profile that includes enhanced emotional responsivity paired with impaired perspective taking are discussed.

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