References of "Majerus, Steve"
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See detailMemory disorders in children
Majerus, Steve ULg; Van der Linden, Martial ULg

in Handbook of Clinical Neurology (2013), 111

Memory disorders are a frequent consequence of a variety of childhood neurological conditions. We will review the characteristics of memory disorders as a function of the main four memory systems: short ... [more ▼]

Memory disorders are a frequent consequence of a variety of childhood neurological conditions. We will review the characteristics of memory disorders as a function of the main four memory systems: short-term memory, episodic memory, semantic memory, and procedural memory. For each system, we will identify the most typical cerebral and/or genetic correlates, and we will discuss the impact of impairment of each memory system on everyday life functioning. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. [less ▲]

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See detailLanguage repetition and short-term memory : an integrative framework
Majerus, Steve ULg

in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (2013), 7(357),

Short-term maintenance of verbal information is a core factor of language repetition, especially when reproducing multiple or unfamiliar stimuli. Many models of language processing locate the verbal short ... [more ▼]

Short-term maintenance of verbal information is a core factor of language repetition, especially when reproducing multiple or unfamiliar stimuli. Many models of language processing locate the verbal short-term maintenance function in the left posterior superior temporo-parietal area and its connections with the inferior frontal gyrus. However, research in the field of short-term memory has implicated bilateral fronto-parietal networks, involved in attention and serial order processing, as being critical for the maintenance and reproduction of verbal sequences. We present here an integrative framework aimed at bridging research in the language processing and short-term memory fields. This framework considers verbal short-term maintenance as an emergent function resulting from synchronized and integrated activation in dorsal and ventral language processing networks as well as fronto-parietal attention and serial order processing networks. To-be-maintained item representations are temporarily activated in the dorsal and ventral language processing networks, novel phoneme and word serial order information is proposed to be maintained via a right fronto-parietal serial order processing network, and activation in these different networks is proposed to be coordinated and maintained via a left fronto-parietal attention processing network. This framework provides new perspectives for our understanding of information maintenance at the nonword-, word- and sentence-level as well as of verbal maintenance deficits in case of brain injury. [less ▲]

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See detailSpatial Attention Interacts With Serial-Order Retrieval From Verbal Working Memory
van Dijck, J.-P.; Abrahamse, E. L.; Majerus, Steve ULg et al

in Psychological Science (2013), 24(9), 1854-1859

The ability to maintain the serial order of events is recognized as a major function of working memory. Although general models of working memory postulate a close link between working memory and ... [more ▼]

The ability to maintain the serial order of events is recognized as a major function of working memory. Although general models of working memory postulate a close link between working memory and attention, such a link has so far not been proposed specifically for serial-order working memory. The present study provided the first empirical demonstration of a direct link between serial order in verbal working memory and spatial selective attention. We show that the retrieval of later items of a sequence stored in working memory-compared with that of earlier items-produces covert attentional shifts toward the right. This observation suggests the conceptually surprising notion that serial-order working memory, even for nonspatially defined verbal items, draws on spatial attention. © The Author(s) 2013. [less ▲]

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See detailShort-term memory for serial order supports vocabulary development: New evidence from a novel word learning paradigm
Majerus, Steve ULg; Boukebza, C.

in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (2013), 116(4), 811-828

Although recent studies suggest a strong association between short-term memory (STM) for serial order and lexical development, the precise mechanisms linking the two domains remain to be determined. This ... [more ▼]

Although recent studies suggest a strong association between short-term memory (STM) for serial order and lexical development, the precise mechanisms linking the two domains remain to be determined. This study explored the nature of these mechanisms via a microanalysis of performance on serial order STM and novel word learning tasks. In the experiment, 6- and 7-year-old children were administered tasks maximizing STM for either item or serial order information as well as paired-associate learning tasks involving the learning of novel words, visual symbols, or familiar word pair associations. Learning abilities for novel words were specifically predicted by serial order STM abilities. A measure estimating the precision of serial order coding predicted the rate of correct repetitions and the rate of phoneme migration errors during the novel word learning process. In line with recent theoretical accounts, these results suggest that serial order STM supports vocabulary development via ordered and detailed reactivation of the novel phonological sequences that characterize new words. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. [less ▲]

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See detailImpaired short-term memory for order in adults with dyslexia
Martinez Perez, Trecy ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; Poncelet, Martine ULg

in Research in Developmental Disabilities (2013), 34

Verbal short-term memory (STM) deficits are consistently associated with dyslexia, but the nature of these deficits remains poorly understood. This study used the distinction between item and order ... [more ▼]

Verbal short-term memory (STM) deficits are consistently associated with dyslexia, but the nature of these deficits remains poorly understood. This study used the distinction between item and order retention processes to achieve a better understanding of STM deficits in adults with dyslexia. STM for item information has been shown to depend on the quality of underlying phonological representations, and hence should be impaired in dyslexia, which is characterized by poorly developed phonological representations. On the other hand, STM for order information is considered to reflect core STM processes, which are independent from language processing. Thirty adults with dyslexia and thirty control participants matched for age, education, vocabulary, and IQ were presented STM tasks, which distinguished item and order STM capacities. We observed not only impaired order STM in adults with dyslexia, but this impairment was independent of item STM impairment. This study shows that adults with dyslexia present a deficit in core verbal STM processes, a deficit which cannot be accounted for by the language processing difficulties that characterize dyslexia. Moreover, these results support recent theoretical accounts considering independent order STM and item STM processes, with a potentially causal involvement of order STM processes in reading acquisition. [less ▲]

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See detailPROFINTEG: A TOOL FOR REAL-LIFE ASSESSMENT OF ACTIVITIES OF DAILY LIVING IN PATIENTS WITH COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT
Anselme, Patrick ULg; Poncelet, Martine ULg; Bouwens, Sharon et al

in Psychologica Belgica (2013), 53(1), 3-22

Although there are many instruments for assessing activities of daily living (IADL) in brain injured patients, few instruments specifically target cognitive impairment and its impact on IADL. The present ... [more ▼]

Although there are many instruments for assessing activities of daily living (IADL) in brain injured patients, few instruments specifically target cognitive impairment and its impact on IADL. The present study presents the development of the Profinteg instrument, a tool for real-life assessment as well as rehabilitation of IADL in patients with cognitive impairment. This two-stage instrument covers over 90 activities. Psychometric properties of the different Profinteg measures were explored in twenty-five patients with mild to severe cognitive difficulties and twenty-five caregivers. The feasibility of the Profinteg rehabilitation procedure was explored in three patients. Excellent interrater reliability (r > 0.90, p < 0.01) was observed for all measures. Good sensitivity to changes in IADL disability over time was also observed (T = 2.37, p < 0.02). Significant improvement of IADL functioning was found after rehabilitation guided by Profinteg assessment. The Profinteg instrument detects with precision the difficulties patients encounter in their real-life setting via (1) assessment of a large number of activities and (2) detailed decomposition of activities into sub-activities. The Profinteg tool also provides promising results for guidance of IADL rehabilitation in the patient’s real-life environment. [less ▲]

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See detailConcern-induced negative affect is associated with the occurrence and content of mind-wandering
Stawarczyk, David ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; D'Argembeau, Arnaud ULg

in Consciousness & Cognition (2013), 22(2), 442-448

Previous research has shown that the content and frequency of mind-wandering episodes—the occurrence of thoughts that are both stimulus-independent and task-unrelated—are closely related to an ... [more ▼]

Previous research has shown that the content and frequency of mind-wandering episodes—the occurrence of thoughts that are both stimulus-independent and task-unrelated—are closely related to an individual’s future-related concerns. Whether this relationship is shaped by the affective changes that are usually associated with future-related concerns still remains unclear, however. In this study, we induced the anticipation of a negatively valenced event and examined whether the ensuing affective changes were related to the occurrence and content of mind-wandering during an unrelated attentional task. We found that the increase in negative affect following concern induction predicted the general frequency of mind-wandering episodes. Furthermore, mind-wandering episodes specifically directed at the induced concern were related to a lower decrease in negative affect during the attentional task. These results suggest that the negative emotional impact of future-related concerns is an important factor to be taken into consideration for the subsequent occurrence of mind-wandering episodes, which might in turn be involved in the maintenance of negative affect over time. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Impact of Complexity on Sentence Comprehension in Children with Specific Language Impairment
Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; Jacob, Laura et al

Poster (2012, June)

In recent years, there has been growing evidence that children with specific language impairment (SLI) show poor sentence comprehension performance. However, factors determining sentence comprehension in ... [more ▼]

In recent years, there has been growing evidence that children with specific language impairment (SLI) show poor sentence comprehension performance. However, factors determining sentence comprehension in SLI remain unclear. Limited processing capacities have been suggested as a potential cause of their syntactic problem (Ellis Weismer & Hesketh, 1996; Montgomery, 2000), but this hypothesis has not been directly addressed by manipulating inner sentence complexity. This study aims at investigating the limited capacity theory of language impairment in a sentence comprehension task, by manipulating various aspects of inner sentence complexity, as defined by the Capacity Constrained Comprehension theory (Just & Carpenter, 1992). Fifteen children with SLI, 15 age-and-IQ-matched controls, and 15 controls matched for receptive lexical and grammatical abilities performed an auditory sentence comprehension task in which lexical frequency, sentence length, and the type of relative clause (subject- or object-relativized clauses) were manipulated. Results showed a main effect of group (F(2,42)=25.40, p<.001): children with SLI performed worse than language-matched and age-matched control groups. Main effects of relative clause type (F(1,42)=198.37, p<.001) and sentence length (F(1,42)=46.29, p<.001) were also found, showing overall better performances for sentences with a subject rather than an object relative clause and for short rather than long sentences. However, the SLI group was affected to the same extent by these variables as the control groups. At the same time, a significant group-by-frequency interaction effect was found (F(2,42)=4.03, p<.05), revealing that only the SLI group showed poorer sentence comprehension performance for sentences containing low frequency words. These data confirm the severity and specificity of sentence comprehension difficulties in children with SLI (e.g., van der Lely 2005). Given that our SLI group showed impaired sentence comprehension performance relative to younger children performing at the same level on a standardized test of grammatical comprehension, it appears that processing full reversible relative clauses is especially difficult for children with specific language impairment. Moreover, SLI children’s sentence comprehension abilities are particularly affected by the presence of low frequency but familiar words, even when compared to children matched on vocabulary knowledge. [less ▲]

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See detailVerbal short-term memory deficits in children with specific language impairment: impact of linguistic complexity and attentional control
Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULg; Maillart, Christelle ULg; Genet, Océane ULg et al

Conference (2012, May 11)

Children with specific language impairment (SLI) constantly show poor performance in verbal short term memory (STM) tasks. However, the precise mechanism at the root of this problem is still unclear ... [more ▼]

Children with specific language impairment (SLI) constantly show poor performance in verbal short term memory (STM) tasks. However, the precise mechanism at the root of this problem is still unclear. Verbal STM tasks, such as nonword repetition, are complex tasks recruiting linguistic and non linguistic abilities. Recent studies emphasize the role played by attentional capacities in verbal STM performances (e.g., Majerus, Bastin, et al., 2007; Majerus, Heiligenstein, et al., 2009; Majerus, Poncelet, et al., 2006). Moreover, a number of studies have demonstrated an impact of linguistic knowledge on verbal STM (e.g., Majerus & van der Linden, 2003). In the light of these developments, two studies re-explored the nature of verbal STM deficits in children with SLI by assessing the impact of attentional capacity and linguistic complexity. The first study assessed the impact of attentional capacities on STM via a nonverbal dual-tasking paradigm in children with SLI, in children matched on age, and in children matched on STM span. The second study assessed the impact of lexical, perceptual and phonological variables on STM performance in children with SLI, in children matched on age, and in children matched on vocabulary knowledge. We will show that neither the attentional nor the linguistic complexity accounts can satisfactorily explain the verbal STM deficits observed in children with SLI. [less ▲]

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See detailMind-wandering and attentional control: two sides of the same coin or independent processes?
Stawarczyk, David ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; D'Argembeau, Arnaud ULg

Conference (2012, May 11)

Mind-wandering refers to the occurrence of thoughts whose content is both unrelated to the task that we are currently carrying out and decoupled from current sensory perceptions (e.g., having our mind ... [more ▼]

Mind-wandering refers to the occurrence of thoughts whose content is both unrelated to the task that we are currently carrying out and decoupled from current sensory perceptions (e.g., having our mind distracted by past memories or future concerns when reading a novel). Recent frameworks suggest that the occurrence of mind-wandering reflects temporary breakdowns in attentional control processes. Other proposals however consider that mind-wandering is a cognitive process of its own, independent of attentional control. Based on the dual mechanisms of control framework (Braver et al., 2007), we examined whether proactive and reactive attentional control processes (measured with the A-X Continuous Performance Test), as well as working memory capacity (WMC), are related to the occurrence of mind-wandering during the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART). Results showed that WMC was positively related to proactive but not reactive control, while the frequency of mind-wandering was unrelated to these three measures of attentional control. Additionally, we found that proactive control, reactive control, WMC, and mind-wandering contributed significantly and independently to the prediction of commission errors during the SART. These results suggest that mind-wandering is not the mere reflection of attentional control abilities and that these two factors have separate influences on task performance. [less ▲]

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See detailThe impact of aging and hearing status on verbal short-term memory
Verhaegen, Clémence ULg; Collette, Fabienne ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg

Conference (2012, May)

We determined the impact of hearing status on age-related effects on verbal short-term memory (STM). Rabbit (1991) observed that elderly participants with hearing loss show impaired STM; he suggested that ... [more ▼]

We determined the impact of hearing status on age-related effects on verbal short-term memory (STM). Rabbit (1991) observed that elderly participants with hearing loss show impaired STM; he suggested that in the case of hearing loss, attentional resources had to be recruited to a larger extent to stimulus perception, reducing the available pool of attentional resources for STM processing. We tested this hypothesis by distinguishing the impact of aging from the impact of hearing status on STM. This was done by administering different verbal STM tasks to elderly and young adult participants matched for hearing threshold, as well as normal-hearing control participants. We observed that elderly participants and hearing-matched young participants showed equal levels of performance in all verbal STM tasks, and performed overall more poorly than the normal-hearing young control participants. These results suggest that mild hearing impairment is a major explanatory factor of reduced STM performance, and importantly, is age-independent. The results are discussed within an interactive framework of STM and attentional processing (Majerus et al., 2009). [less ▲]

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See detailDo common principles underlie the representation of order in STM and numerical judgment tasks?
Attout, Lucie ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg

Conference (2012, March 29)

Although many studies have explored magnitude effects in numerical cognition, the representation of order information has received only limited interest. We explored the hypothesis that common abstract ... [more ▼]

Although many studies have explored magnitude effects in numerical cognition, the representation of order information has received only limited interest. We explored the hypothesis that common abstract ordinal representations underlie the representation of order information across different domains. We tested this hypothesis by determining the similarity of distance effects in short-term memory (STM) order probe recognition (did ‘8’ occur before ‘5’ in the list ‘3, 6, 5, 4, 8, 7’ presented a few seconds ago?) and in order judgment tasks (does ‘1’ occur before ‘2’), both numerical and alphabetical stimuli were used. In numerical cognition, adjacent numbers are typically judged more slowly than more distant numbers. In fifty healthy adults, we observed significant distance effects across all tasks: in the order judgment tasks, adjacent numbers/letters were judged more slowly than more distant numbers/letters; in the STM tasks, order recognition was slowed for stimuli stemming from adjacent positions in the STM list as compared to stimuli stemming from more distant positions. Regression slopes for distance effects were identical across the different tasks and conditions. Furthermore, the size of distance effects correlated significantly across tasks, except for the order judgment task with numerical stimuli. We will discuss the implications of these results for a hypothetical common representational system of order information in STM and numerical cognition. [less ▲]

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See detailDISSOCIATING SHORT-TERM MEMORY AND LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENT: THE IMPORTANCE OF ITEM AND SERIAL ORDER INFORMATION
Attout, Lucie ULg; VAN DER KAA, Marie-Anne ULg; GEORGE, Mercédès ULg et al

in Aphasiology (2012), 26(3-4), 355-382

BACKGROUND: Selective verbal short-term memory (STM) deficits are rare, and when they appear, they are often associated with a history of aphasia, raising doubts about the selectivity of these deficits ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Selective verbal short-term memory (STM) deficits are rare, and when they appear, they are often associated with a history of aphasia, raising doubts about the selectivity of these deficits. Recent models of STM consider that STM for item information depends upon activation of the language system, and hence item STM deficits should be associated with language impairment. By contrast, STM for order information is considered to recruit a specific system, distinct from the language system: this system could be impaired in patients with language-independent STM deficits. AIM: We demonstrate here the power of the item-order distinction to separate STM and language impairments in two brain damaged cases with STM impairment and a history of aphasia. METHODS & PROCEDURES: Recognition and recall STM tasks, maximizing STM for either item or order information were administered to patients MB and CG. OUTCOMES & RESULTS: Patient MB showed mild phonological impairment. As predicted, associated STM deficits were characterized by poor item STM but preserved order STM. On the other hand, patient CG showed no residual language deficits. His STM deficit was characterized by poor order STM but perfectly preserved item STM. CONCLUSIONS: This study presents the first double dissociation between item and order STM deficits, and demonstrates the necessity of this distinction for understanding and assessing STM impairment in patients with and without aphasia. [less ▲]

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See detailAn association between short-term memory for order and numerical cognition in 3rd grade kindergarten children.
Attout, Lucie ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg

Conference (2012, February)

Several studies explored the relationship between verbal short-term memory (STM) and numerical cognition, but with inconclusive findings. The present study re-explored this relationship, by adopting the ... [more ▼]

Several studies explored the relationship between verbal short-term memory (STM) and numerical cognition, but with inconclusive findings. The present study re-explored this relationship, by adopting the critical distinction between STM for item information (the items to be retained) and STM for order information (the order of the items within a list). We hypothesized that especially STM for order should be related to the development of numerical abilities, given that recent studies suggest the intervention of common processes during the representation of order information in STM and numerical tasks. We investigated item and order STM abilities and numerical processing abilities in 72 children during their third year in kindergarten. We observed that order STM abilities, but not item STM abilities, correlated significantly with performance on numerical order judgment and calculation tasks. These associations remained after control of interindividual differences in verbal and non-verbal cognitive efficiency. Our results suggest a specific relationship between order STM processes and numerical cognition, opening new perspectives for our understanding of the STM determinants of numerical cognition development. [less ▲]

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See detailUsing the daydreaming frequency scale to investigate the relationships between mind-wandering, psychological well-being, and present-moment awareness
Stawarczyk, David ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; Van der Linden, Martial ULg et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2012), 3

Recent findings have shown that mind-wandering – the occurrence of stimulusindependent and task-unrelated thoughts – is associated with negative affect and lower psychological well-being. However, it ... [more ▼]

Recent findings have shown that mind-wandering – the occurrence of stimulusindependent and task-unrelated thoughts – is associated with negative affect and lower psychological well-being. However, it remains unclear whether this relationship is due to the occurrence of mind-wandering per se or to the fact that people who mind wander more tend to be generally less attentive to present-moment experience. In three studies, we first validate a French translation of a retrospective self-report questionnaire widely used to assess the general occurrence of mind-wandering in daily life – the Daydreaming Frequency Scale. Using this questionnaire, we then show that the relationship between mind-wandering frequency and psychological distress is fully accounted for by individual differences in dispositional mindful awareness and encoding style.These findings suggest that it may not be mind-wandering per se that is responsible for psychological distress, but rather the general tendency to be less aware and attentive to the present-moment. Thus, although mind-wandering and present-moment awareness are related constructs, they are not reducible to one another, and are distinguishable in terms of their relationship with psychological well-being. [less ▲]

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See detailEvidence for a specific impairment of serial order short-term memory in dyslexic children
Martinez Perez, Trecy ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; Mahot, Aline et al

in Dyslexia : The Journal of the British Dyslexia Association (2012), 18(2), 94-109

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See detailA sensitive scale to assess nociceptive pain in patients with disorders of consciousness.
Chatelle, Camille ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; Whyte, John et al

in Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry (2012), 83(12), 1233-7

OBJECTIVE: To determine the sensitivity of the Nociception Coma Scale (NCS), the first scale developed to assess nociceptive pain in vegetative state and minimally conscious state patients, in comparing ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE: To determine the sensitivity of the Nociception Coma Scale (NCS), the first scale developed to assess nociceptive pain in vegetative state and minimally conscious state patients, in comparing behavioural changes in response to noxious versus non-noxious stimulation. METHODS: The NCS was administered to assess patients' responses in three conditions: (1) baseline (observation of spontaneous behaviours), (2) non-noxious/tactile stimulation (taps on the patient's shoulder), and (3) noxious stimulation (pressure on the nail bed). RESULTS: We included 64 patients (27 vegetative state and 37 minimally conscious state; age range 20-82 years; 22 traumatic brain injury; 21 in the acute stage). The NCS total scores and subscores (motor, verbal and facial) were higher for the noxious versus the non-noxious stimulation conditions. We did not observe a difference between the non-noxious and the noxious stimulation conditions for the visual subscale. We also found a NCS cut-off value of 4 differentiating the patients receiving a noxious stimulation from patients receiving a non-noxious stimulation. The exclusion of the visual subscale increased the cut-off sensitivity (from 46% to 73%; specificity of 97% and accuracy of 85%). CONCLUSION: We propose a new version of the NCS excluding the visual subscale, the NCS-R, which constitutes a highly sensitive tool to assess responses to nociceptive pain in severely brain injured patients. [less ▲]

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