Project "Profiles of spatial abilities in Down and Williams syndromes"

Our brains have different ways of representing space. If we are static, space is represented in an egocentric manner, in relation to our own body: For example, object X is located directly in front of me. In contrast, when we move space is represented in an allocentric manner, and the location of objects is coded in relation to other objects constituting the environment, independently of our own body.

This project will study the real-world spatial capacities of individuals with T21 and WS. Our findings will allow us to better characterize the cognitive capacities of people with genetic abnormalities, and to better understand how the human brain contributes to the spatial representation of our environment.

Understanding the capabilities of spatial representations in people with T21 and WS may contribute to the development of compensatory learning strategies permitting greater autonomy in these individuals.

2016 – 2021


  • Banta Lavenex, Pamela, professeure extraordinaire, UniDistance Suisse
  • Lavenex, Pierre, Ph.D. Co-PI, Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Development, Institute of Psychology, University of Lausanne
  • Bostelmann, Mathilde, Doctoral student, University of Lausanne
  • Bochud, Emilie, Doctoral student, University of Lausanne
  • Vicari, Stefano, Ph.D. Collaborator, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, Rome
  • Association Suisse du Syndrome de Williams (Switzerland)
  • ART21 Association Romande Trisomie 21  (Switzerland)
  • Associazione Famiglie Sindrome di Williams (Milano, Italy)
  • Associazione Genitori Sindrome di Williams (Italy)
  • Associazione Italiana Persone Down (Italy)



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