King, Bryan H. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
Last reviewed:March 2020
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- Mental retardation (intellectual disability), published June 2014:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
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A developmental disorder characterized by significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, with concurrent, significant deficits in adaptive behavior. Intellectual disability, formerly termed mental retardation, is a condition in which the brain does not develop normally, leading to intellectual deficits and functional problems. In general, intellectual disability is characterized by an abnormal slowness of mental function and behavior patterns relative to age and development (Fig. 1). The causes of intellectual disability are varied, and they include both genetic and environmental factors, as well as interactions between the two. See also: Behavior genetics; Brain; Developmental biology; Developmental genetics; Developmental psychology; Intelligence
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