In search for significant cognitive features in klinefelter syndrome through cross-species comparison of a supernumerary x chromosome

H. Bruining, H. Swaab, L. M.J. de Sonneville, S. van Rijn, H. van Engeland, M. J.H. Kas

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The behavioral characterization of animals that carry genetic disorder abnormalities in a controlled genetic and environmental background may be used to identify human deficits that are significant to understand underlying neurobiological mechanisms. Here, we studied whether previously reported object recognition impairments in mice with a supernumerary X chromosome relate to specific cognitive deficits in Klinefelter syndrome (47,XXY). We aimed to optimize face validity by studying temporal object recognition in human cognitive assays. Thirty-four boys with Klinefelter syndrome (mean age 12.01) were compared with 90 age-matched normal controls, on a broad range of visual object memory tasks, including tests for pattern and temporal order discrimination. The results indicate that subjects with Klinefelter syndrome have difficulty in the processing of visual object and pattern information. Visual object patterns seem difficult to discriminate especially when temporal information needs to be processed and reproduced. On the basis of cross-species comparison, we propose that impaired temporal processing of object pattern information is an important deficit in Klinefelter syndrome. The current study shows how cross-species behavioral characterization may be used as a starting point to understand the neurobiology of syndromal phenotypic expression. The features of this study may serve as markers for interventions in Klinefelter syndrome. Similar cross-species evaluations of standard mouse behavioral paradigms in different genetic contexts may be powerful tools to optimize genotype-phenotype relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-662
Number of pages5
JournalGenes, Brain and Behavior
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011


  • Animal model
  • Cognition
  • Cross-species
  • Face validity
  • Genetic disorder
  • Klinefelter syndrome
  • Object recognition

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