Sleep, the Achilles' Heel of brain development
Institute of Psychology, Péter Pázmány Catholic University, Budapest, Hungary
Among the chief causes of developmental disabilities are genetic conditions, prenatal or perinatal injuries, diseases, poverty and cultural deprivation. Research has been mainly focused on addressing each of these factors separately, characterizing how they might determine different types of maladaptive behaviors. We suggest that sleep, the Achilles' Heel of brain development might shape the individual's ability to improve basic procedural (perceptual and motor) skills in order to compensate for the above mentioned handicaps. This hypothesis is supported by our developmental and clinical studies carried out on people living with Williams Syndrome.