Past Research Studies

Response Inhibition Training for Children with cropped-CNRL-logo1-1qi3vee.jpgWilliams Syndrome

Many individuals with Williams syndrome have difficulty with inhibiting impulses. In this investigation we are trying out a cognitive retraining approach using computer games to improve inhibitory control in children and adolescents with Williams syndrome. This work is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Hanjoo Lee from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The primary goal of the current study is to test the effectiveness of a web-based response inhibition training program among individuals with Williams syndrome with a small randomized controlled trial. Data collection is completed and the project is in the data analysis phase.

This research was supported by a grant from the Williams Syndrome Association.

Early Cognitive and Behavior Characteristics in Neurofibromatosis-1

Previous research with older children with NF1 has shown that some children have learning, attention, and emotional difficulties. Given the lack of information available for younger children, and since NF1 is often diagnosed during the preschool years, we studied the functioning of 2 – 6 year-olds with NF1 and siblings without NF1 in collaboration with the Neurofibromatosis Clinic at the Genetics Center (Donald Basel, M. D., & Dawn Siegel, M.D.) and the Neurofibromatosis Program at the University of Chicago (Jim Tonsgard, M.D., and Scott Hunter, Ph.D.). We are continuing to follow-up with participants over time in order to track development. We are no longer recruiting new participants for this study.

This research was supported by a UWM Research Growth Initiative Award, an Award from the University of Chicago Center for Translational Science CTSA (UL1 RR024999), NF Inc Midwest, NF Inc MidAtlantic, and private donations.

Patience and Planning in Typically Developing Children

In order to learn more about the development of patience and planning of preschool and kindergarten-aged typically developing children, we conducted research about patience and planning in two groups of children with genetic disorders – Williams syndrome and Neurofibromatosis-1 – and compared behaviors to that of typically developing children. In addition, given that children with Williams syndrome or Neurofibromatosis-1 tend to have learning difficulties; we examined whether early signs of these learning difficulties were present compared to what is expected in typically developing children. We are no longer recruiting new participants for this study.

This research was supported by a UWM Research Growth Initiative Award, an Award from the University of Chicago Center for Translational Science CTSA (UL1 RR024999), NF Inc Midwest, NF Inc MidAtlantic, and private donations.