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Dev Med Child Neurol. 1997 Jun;39(6):409-13.

Tactile recognition in infantile nephropathic cystinosis.

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Department of Neurosciences, University of California School of Medicine La Jolla, USA.


Previous studies have demonstrated that individuals with cystinosis, an inherited metabolic disorder, have difficulty processing visual information, and may be selectively impaired in the ability to mentally rotate figures, despite having normal IQs and normal primary sensory function. In our novel task-the 'Black Box'-subjects identified objects solely by feeling the contours. Twenty-three subjects with cystinosis, aged 4 to 34 years, were individually matched with controls on age, sex, handedness, and test form. Subjects with cystinosis performed significantly worse in identifying objects than did controls. In addition, when only subjects over 7 years of age were included, those with cystinosis took significantly longer to correctly identify objects than did controls. Our findings suggest that individuals with cystinosis have difficulty with tactile recognition of common objects. These results support the hypothesis that a genetic disorder may have specific behavioral correlates.

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