Turner syndrome (TS), a neurogenetic disorder characterized by the absence of one X chromosome in a phenotypic female, is frequently associated with visuospatial impairments. We investigated the neural mechanisms underlying deficits in spatial orientation processing in TS. Thirteen subjects with TS and 13 age-matched typically developing controls underwent neuropsychological assessments and were scanned using functional MRI while they performed easy and difficult versions of a judgment of line orientation (JLO) task. Controls and subjects with TS activated parietal-occipital regions involved in spatial orientation during the JLO task. However, activation was significantly less in the TS group. Control subjects responded to increased task difficulty by recruiting executive frontal areas whereas subjects with TS did not activate alternate brain regions to meet increased task demands. Subjects with TS demonstrate activation deficits in parietal-occipital and frontal areas during the JLO task. Activation, and possibly deactivation, deficits in these areas may be responsible for the visuospatial deficits observed in females with TS.
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