Williams syndrome (WS) is a genetic disorder that, because of its unique cognitive profile, has been marshalled as evidence for the modularity of both language and social skills. But emerging evidence suggests the claims of modularity based on WS have been premature. This paper offers an examination of the recent literature on WS. It argues the literature gives little (if any) support for mental modularity. Rather than being rigidly modular, the WS brain is an extremely flexible organ that that co-opts available neural resource in a highly dynamic manner to cope in the world.
Copyright 2009 by the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science. Publisher version archived with the permission of the Editor, ASCS09 : Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science. This copy is available for individual, non-commercial use. Permission to reprint/republish this version for other uses must be obtained from the publisher.