ERP abnormalities of illusory contour perception in Williams Syndrome

Sarah J. Grice, Michelle De Haan, Hanife Halit, Mark H. Johnson, Gergely Csibra, Julia Grant, Annette Karmiloff-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)


Williams syndrome is a genetic disorder in which visuo-spatial performance is poor. Theorists have claimed that the deficit lies in high-level processing, leaving low-level visual processes intact. We investigated this claim by examining an aspect of low-level processing, perceptual completion, i.e. the ability of this clinical group to perceive illusory Kanizsa squares. We then used event-related potentials to examine neural correlates of perceptual completion. While participants were able to perceive illusory contours, the neural correlates of this apparently normal perception were different from controls. Such differences in low-level visual processes may significantly impact on the development of higher-level visual processes. We conclude that, contrary to earlier claims, there is atypical neural processing during low-level visual perception in Williams syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1773-1777
Number of pages5
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Oct 6 2003


  • ERP
  • Genetic disorder
  • Kanizsa
  • NI
  • Subjective figure
  • Williams syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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    Grice, S. J., De Haan, M., Halit, H., Johnson, M. H., Csibra, G., Grant, J., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2003). ERP abnormalities of illusory contour perception in Williams Syndrome. Neuroreport, 14(14), 1773-1777.