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1.  Musicality Correlates With Sociability and Emotionality in Williams Syndrome 
Williams Syndrome (WS) is a neurogenetic developmental disorder characterized by peaks and valleys of cognitive abilities. One peak that has been understudied is the affinity that many individuals with WS have toward music. It remains unknown whether their high levels of musical interest, skill and expressivity are related to their sociable personality or their verbal intelligence. We examined the relationships between musicality (musical interest, creativity and expressivity), sociability (social-emotionality, social approach) and language comprehension in WS and typically developing (TD) controls. Findings suggest that emotion-expressivity through music in WS may be linked to their sensitivity and responsivity to emotions of others, whereas general interest in music may be related to greater linguistic capacity in TD individuals. Musicality and sociability may be more closely related in WS relative than in typical development; implications for future interventions for this neurodevelopmental condition will be discussed.
PMCID: PMC3799913  PMID: 24151530
Social-Emotionality; Musicality; Williams Syndrome
2.  The Role of Sociocultural Factors in Hepatitis B Screening Among Asian Americans 
Southern Medical Journal  2011;104(7):466-472.
PMCID: PMC3298880  PMID: 21886043
Hepatitis B (HBV) screening; Asian Americans; sociocultural factors
3.  Association between Cerebral Shape and Social Use of Language in Williams Syndrome 
Williams syndrome is a neurogenetic disorder resulting from a hemizygous microdeletion at band 7q11.23. It is characterized by aberrant development of the brain and a unique profile of cognitive and behavioral features. We sought to identify the neuroanatomical abnormalities that are most strongly associated with Williams syndrome employing signal detection methodology. Once identified with a Quality Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve, we hypothesized those brain regions distinguishing subjects with Williams syndrome from controls would be linked to the social phenotype of individuals with this disorder. Thirty-nine adolescents and young adults with Williams syndrome and 40 typically developing controls matched for age and gender were studied. The Quality Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve identified a combination of an enlarged ventral anterior prefrontal cortex and large bending angle of the corpus callosum to distinguish between Williams syndrome and controls with a sensitivity of 85.4% and specificity of 75.0%. Within the Williams syndrome group, bending angle significantly correlated with ventral anterior prefrontal cortex size but not with other morphometric brain measures. Ventral anterior prefrontal size in subjects with Williams syndrome was positively associated with the use of social engagement devices in a narrative task assessing the use of social and affective language. Our findings suggest that aberrant morphology of the ventral anterior prefrontal cortex is a pivotal contributing factor to the abnormal size and shape of the cerebral cortex and to the social-affective language use typical of individuals with Williams Syndrome.
PMCID: PMC2643356  PMID: 18924169
Williams Syndrome; social cognition; cortex; shape; language; ventral prefrontal

Results 1-3 (3)