Cornelia De Lange
Social Development in Cornelia de Lange Syndrome
Over the last ten years researchers have learnt a lot about Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) thanks to the support of families who have taken part in studies. For example, it is now known that whilst many individuals with Cornelia de Lange syndrome enjoy social contact, these individuals are more likely to show Autism Spectrum Disorder behavioural characteristics, social anxiety, social avoidance, extreme shyness and selective mutism when compared to people with other genetic syndromes. You can read more about these research studies here.
Research in the last five years has focused more on how individuals with Cornelia de Lange process social information. Ongoing research studies suggest some subtle difficulties in Cornelia de Lange syndrome, for example when discriminating between facial emotions (happy or disgust vs neutral). We need to understand more about how individuals with CdLS process social information because good social processing is linked to the development of social and communication skills and may also be related to mental health and well-being.
An upcoming study led by Sissy Stefanidou and Kat Ellis from the University of Birmingham will attempt to answer questions about how children and adults with CdLS process faces, human actions, emotions and speech. In addition, the study will explore how children and adults with CdLS perceive social situations.
This study uses cutting edge technology such as eye-tracking and EEG. EEG is a safe, non invasive technique that measures brain activity via recording electrical activity in the brain. To find out more about this study and to register an interest click here.