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See detailThe Childhood Executive Function Inventory (CHEXI): Confirmatory Factor Analyses and Cross-Cultural Clinical Validity in a Sample of 8- to 11-Year-Old Children
Catale, Corinne ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg; Thorell, Lisa B.

in Journal of Attention Disorders (in press)

The Childhood Executive Functioning Inventory (CHEXI) is a new rating instrument for executive functioning developed by Thorell and Nyberg (2008). Through exploratory factor analyses, this inventory has ... [more ▼]

The Childhood Executive Functioning Inventory (CHEXI) is a new rating instrument for executive functioning developed by Thorell and Nyberg (2008). Through exploratory factor analyses, this inventory has been shown to tap into working memory and inhibition-related behaviors in young children. In this study, we present the psychometric characteristics of the French adaptation of the CHEXI in 8- to 11-year-old children. In addition, we explore the cross-cultural validity of the CHEXI in discriminating between children with ADHD and normally developing children in two culturally different samples (Belgian and Swedish). Confirmatory factor analyses replicated the two-factor solution, referred to as inhibition and working memory, that was identified in the original study with Swedish children. Supplementary analyses indicated that both subscales have good psychometric properties. From a clinical point of view, the CHEXI was found to discriminate, with high sensitivity and specificity, between children with ADHD and normally developing controls in both cultural samples. Cross-cultural clinical implications are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailIs there a global procedural learning deficit in children with Specific Language Impairment ?
Desmottes, Lise ULg; Maillart, Christelle ULg; Lejoly, Kelly ULg et al

Poster (2014, November 13)

The study of procedural learning abilities in children with Specific Language Impairment (Procedural Deficit Hypothesis, PDH; Ullman & Pierpont, 2005) remains a relatively unexplored field of research ... [more ▼]

The study of procedural learning abilities in children with Specific Language Impairment (Procedural Deficit Hypothesis, PDH; Ullman & Pierpont, 2005) remains a relatively unexplored field of research. Since most evidence comes from studies using tasks which involve learning of sequenced patterns, research using other procedural learning paradigms (like motor adaptation tasks) is needed to further evaluate the PDH in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Therefore, in this study, we examined the ability of children with and without SLI to learn, consolidate and generalize a mirror-tracing task, a paradigm that does not involve sequence learning and had never been used in SLI. Children with SLI and typical developing (TD) matched children participated in the study. Children with SLI were included if they scored below -1.25 SD of the expected normative performance in at least 2 language areas. Both groups had to trace ten 5-pointed stars seen only in mirror-reversed view in two learning sessions separated by a one-week delay. The transfer phase consisted in tracing a new figure. The time required to complete the tracing, and the number of errors committed were recorded. Full results will be presented and discussed during the presentation of the paper. [less ▲]

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See detailConstruction d’un référentiel de compétences pour la formation de psychologues
Peters, Stéphanie ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg; Maillart, Christelle ULg et al

Conference (2014, May 19)

L’élaboration de ce référentiel de compétences pour les psychologues répond à trois motivations principales, relevées lors de démarches d’évaluation de la qualité de notre enseignement : accompagner le ... [more ▼]

L’élaboration de ce référentiel de compétences pour les psychologues répond à trois motivations principales, relevées lors de démarches d’évaluation de la qualité de notre enseignement : accompagner le parcours identitaire et pédagogique des étudiants, faciliter le travail partenarial entre enseignants, et répondre aux obligations institutionnelles. Le modèle théorique qui a guidé la construction du référentiel est celui proposé par J. Tardif (2006). Il présente notamment comme avantages de préciser les situations professionnelles dans lesquelles sont mobilisées les compétences et leurs composantes, de définir des trajectoires de développement qui témoignent ainsi de la progression de l’étudiant dans son parcours de formation, et de lier les apprentissages à des domaines de ressources permettant donc de faire le lien avec les cours du programme. Pour construire ce référentiel, trois sources ont été mobilisées : (1) les pratiques des psychologues professionnels (Hansez, Côte & Mormont, 2008), (2) la littérature existante concernant les compétences des psychologues (Batram & Roe, 2005 ; Europsy, 2005 ; Tuning, s.d.) et les critères de qualité d’une formation universitaire en psychologie (APA, 2008, 2013 ; Mayo, 2008), et (3) l’expertise des enseignants du cursus. Cette communication présentera le référentiel, composé de cinq compétences. Elle s’arrêtera également sur deux points de discussion qui ont émergé lors de la construction de ce référentiel, et qui le colorent largement : (1) la maîtrise de savoirs théoriques et méthodologiques, et (2) l’importance de développer chez les étudiants des réflexes et outils d’analyse des enjeux et effets sociétaux des pratiques et des savoirs du psychologue. Les implications de ce référentiel dans la conception du parcours de formation seront annoncées. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopmental Invariance in Implicit Sequence Learning
Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Wansard, Murielle ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg

Poster (2014, April 05)

This study was intended to test the age invariance hypothesis on implicit learning abilities using the serial reaction time paradigm and focusing on the comparison of second-order conditional (SOC ... [more ▼]

This study was intended to test the age invariance hypothesis on implicit learning abilities using the serial reaction time paradigm and focusing on the comparison of second-order conditional (SOC) sequences of two different lengths (8 and 12 elements). A total of 128 participants from 4 age groups (4 years, 7 years, 10 years, and adults) were tested. The results showed significant and similar learning effects in 4-, 7-, and 10-year-old children, as well as adults. The learning effect was more pronounced for the 8-element sequence than for the 12-element sequence for all age groups, suggesting that the shorter sequence was better learned than the longer one. In addition, the degree of explicit sequence awareness was comparable between age groups and sequence lengths. These results, showing that 4-year-old children are able to learn 8- and 12-element-long SOC sequences as well as adults, provide further support for the hypothesis that implicit learning abilities are developmentally invariant. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Neural Correlates of Re-cancellation Behaviors in Unilateral Neglect: A Neuropsychological Approach
Wansard, Murielle ULg; Bastin, Christine ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg

Poster (2014, April)

The present study focused on re-cancellation behaviors in unilateral neglect (i.e., the tendency to search repeatedly items located on the right side in visual search tasks), and used a neuropsychological ... [more ▼]

The present study focused on re-cancellation behaviors in unilateral neglect (i.e., the tendency to search repeatedly items located on the right side in visual search tasks), and used a neuropsychological approach to identify the cerebral correlates of this deficit. Fourteen patients suffering from left neglect and 14 elderly age-matched controls performed a cancellation task without visual feedback. Neglect patients cancelled fewer targets than controls, and re-cancelled an abnormally high number of targets. Lesion maps were used to compare the location of brain damage in neglect patients with the highest versus the lowest percentage of re-cancellations. Anatomical data revealed that the right insula is commonly damaged in 5 out of 6 patients with the highest re-cancellation percentage, but is spared in the subgroup of patients with the lowest re-cancellation percentage. These results suggest that damage to the right insula may contribute to pathological visual search in spatial neglect, possibly by reducing interaction between the ventral and dorsal attention network (the latter being more directly involved in spatial processes). [less ▲]

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See detailThe Benefits of Errorless Learning for Serial Reaction Time Performance in Alzheimer's Disease.
Schmitz, Xavier ULg; Bier, Nathalie; Joubert, Sven et al

in Journal of Alzheimer's Disease [=JAD] (2014), 39(2), 287-300

Identifying the conditions favoring new procedural skill learning in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) could be important for patients’ autonomy. It has been suggested that error elimination is beneficial during ... [more ▼]

Identifying the conditions favoring new procedural skill learning in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) could be important for patients’ autonomy. It has been suggested that error elimination is beneficial during skill learning, but no study has explored the advantage of this method in sequential learning situations. In this study, we examined the acquisition of a 6-element perceptual-motor sequence by AD patients and healthy older adults (control group). We compared the impact of two preliminary sequence learning conditions (Errorless vs. Errorful) on Serial Reaction Time performance at two different points in the learning process. A significant difference in reaction times for the learned sequence and a new sequence was observed in both conditions in healthy older participants; in AD patients, the difference was significant only in the errorless condition. The learning effect was greater in the errorless than the errorful condition in both groups. However, while the errorless advantage was found at two different times in the learning process in the AD group, in the control group this advantage was observed only at the halfway point. These results support the hypothesis that errorless learning allows for faster automation of a procedure than errorful learning in both AD and healthy older subjects. [less ▲]

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See detailProcedural learning across modalities in French-speaking children with specific language impairment
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg; Parisse, Christophe et al

in Applied Psycholinguistics (2014)

It has been suggested that the language problems encountered in specific language impairment (SLI) arise from basal ganglia abnormalities that lead to impaired procedural memory. However, recent serial ... [more ▼]

It has been suggested that the language problems encountered in specific language impairment (SLI) arise from basal ganglia abnormalities that lead to impaired procedural memory. However, recent serial reaction time (SRT) studies did not reveal any differences between the SLI and typically developing (TD) groups on the measures of procedural memory linked to visual sequence learning. In this paper, 16 children with and without SLI were compared on two versions of SRT tasks: a visual task and an auditory one. The results showed that children with SLI were as fast as their TD peers in both modalities. All of the children obtained similar specific sequence learning indices, indicating that they were able to detect regularities in both modalities. Although children with SLI were as accurate as their TD peers for the visual SRT task, they made more errors than their TD peers in auditory SRT conditions. The results indicate that, in relation to procedural memory, the core of the impairment in SLI is not linked to difficulties in the detection of regularities. We argue that when children with SLI present some difficulties, the children’s weaknesses might depend on the type of processing involved (e.g., tasks involving auditory sequences). [less ▲]

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See detailValidation d’un test d’inhibition auprès d’enfants présentant un trouble déficitaire de l’attention avec/sans hyperactivité
Catale, Corinne ULg; Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Schmitz, Xavier ULg et al

in Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science = Revue Canadienne des Sciences du Comportement (2014), 46(1), 66-72

The objective of this study was to assess the development of inhibition in 5-11 years old children with the “Stroop fruit” task (see Archibald & Kerns, 1999; Catale & Meulemans, 2005) and to examine the ... [more ▼]

The objective of this study was to assess the development of inhibition in 5-11 years old children with the “Stroop fruit” task (see Archibald & Kerns, 1999; Catale & Meulemans, 2005) and to examine the clinical value of this tool. 346 French-speaking children without any developmental disorders or learning disabilities were included in this study. A clinical group of 25 children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder was also assessed with this task. Developmental analyses on age groups show an enhancement of performance in the interference condition between 5 and 8 years old. Furthermore, results also show that the clinical group performed significantly less accurately that the control group for the interference condition, which confirms the clinical interest of this tool. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment and validation of the working memory self-assessment scale
Fresson, Megan ULg; DEMOULIN, Valentine ULg; HIERNAUX, Anne ULg et al

Poster (2013, July)

Aim. Because working memory is involved in many daily life activities, its ecological evaluation is a key dimension of the neuropsychological assessment of people with cognitive impairments. The aim of ... [more ▼]

Aim. Because working memory is involved in many daily life activities, its ecological evaluation is a key dimension of the neuropsychological assessment of people with cognitive impairments. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a 30-items self-assessment scale of working memory, the WMSS (Working Memory Self-Assessment Scale). Method. The WMSS and a comprehensive assessment battery of working memory and executive functions were administered to sixty French-speaking individuals (20 young, 20 old, 20 old-old). Results. The internal validity of the scale was strong as estimated by the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient (α = .93). Concerning the external validity, several correlations were obtained between the WMSS and the cognitive composite scores. Unlike old subjects, the lower cognitive results young and old-old subjects had, the more working memory complaints they expressed. Discussion. The WMSS shows a satisfactory internal as well as external validity since young and old-old subjects who reported more difficulties (WMSS) are those who obtained lower cognitive results. The somewhat surprising relationship between the WMSS and the cognitive tasks in the old group can be explained by an increased perception of cognitive changes and a more complex life style in old subjects with better cognitive abilities. [less ▲]

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See detailIntact procedural motor sequence learning in developmental coordination disorder
Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Catale, Corinne ULg; Willems, Sylvie ULg et al

in Research in Developmental Disabilities (2013), 34(6), 1974-1981

The purpose of the present study was to explore the possibility of a procedural learning deficit among children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). We tested 34 children aged 6–12 years with ... [more ▼]

The purpose of the present study was to explore the possibility of a procedural learning deficit among children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). We tested 34 children aged 6–12 years with and without DCD using the serial reaction time task, in which the standard keyboard was replaced by a touch screen in order to minimize the impact of perceptuomotor coordination difficulties that characterize this disorder. The results showed that children with DCD succeed as well as control children at the procedural sequence learning task. These findings challenge the hypothesis that a procedural learning impairment underlies the difficulties of DCD children in acquiring and automatizing daily activities. We suggest that the previously reported impairment of children with DCD on the serial reaction time task is not due to a sequence learning deficit per se, but rather due to methodological factors such as the response mode used in these studies. [less ▲]

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See detailDiagnostic, assessment and remediation of the attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): The neuropsychologist’s point of view
Catale, Corinne ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg

in Neuropsychiatrie de l'Enfance et de l'Adolescence (2013), 3

Despite the advances made regarding both the characterization and classification of the disorder (e.g., DSM-IV), the diagnosis of the Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children ... [more ▼]

Despite the advances made regarding both the characterization and classification of the disorder (e.g., DSM-IV), the diagnosis of the Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children remains very difficult. The principal aim of this paper is to present the interest of a integrative approach in the understanding, diagnosis and identification of difficulties in ADHD children. More particularly, it aims to underline the interest of the cognitive approach in the understanding of this disorder in the day-to-day life functioning, as well as the benefits of this approach when a specific remediation is planned. [less ▲]

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See detailFrench Adaptation of the Childhood ExecutivFe Function Inventory (CHEXI): Confirmatory Factor Analysis in a Sample of Young French-Speaking Belgian Children
Catale, Corinne ULg; Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Merbah, Sarah ULg et al

in European Journal of Psychological Assessment (2013), 29(2), 149-155

Thorell and Nyberg (2008) recently developed the Childhood Executive Functioning Inventory (CHEXI), a new rating instrument for executive functioning in day-to-day life that can be divided into four ... [more ▼]

Thorell and Nyberg (2008) recently developed the Childhood Executive Functioning Inventory (CHEXI), a new rating instrument for executive functioning in day-to-day life that can be divided into four subscales: working memory, planning, inhibition, and regulation. By using an exploratory factor analysis on data from young Swedish children attending kindergarten, Thorell and Nyberg (2008) found a two-factor solution tapping working memory and inhibition. In the present study, we explored the psychometric characteristics of the French adaptation of the CHEXI. Ninety-five parents of 5- and 6-year-old children completed the CHEXI. Eighty-seven children from this sample were given clinical inhibition and working memory tasks. Confirmatory factor analyses confirmed the two-factor solution based on inhibition and working memory that was identified in the original study of Swedish children. Supplementary results indicated good internal and test-retest reliability for the entire scale, as well as for the two subscales identified. Correlation analyses showed no relationship between cognitive measures and the CHEXI subscales. Possible clinical applications for the CHEXI scales are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailThe way we learn this knowledge that dominates all other knowledge
Geurten, Marie ULg; Catale, Corinne ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg

Conference (2013)

Although much is known about how children use memory strategies, far fewer studies have examined how knowledge of those strategies improves during childhood or which variables are involved in this ... [more ▼]

Although much is known about how children use memory strategies, far fewer studies have examined how knowledge of those strategies improves during childhood or which variables are involved in this development. In this experiment, a scale designed to assess three main aspects of metamemory knowledge (internal strategy knowledge, external strategy knowledge, general knowledge) and a battery of executive tasks was administered to a group of 80 children aged 4, 6, and 11. At the same time, variables such as intelligence, vocabulary and parental education level were also taken into account. Stepwise analyses carried out on each of the three metamemory subscales showed that executive functions of inhibition and response monitoring, as well as verbal fluency, were single predictors of internal strategy knowledge for children aged 6 and 11. Only verbal fluency predicted external strategy knowledge. None of the variables included in the analyses could explain the children’s general knowledge of memory functioning or the 4-year-old group’s performance on any of the three subscales. Results are discussed in terms of ease of monitoring, access to explicit knowledge and influence of implicit learning. [less ▲]

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See detailChildren’s Knowledge About Memory: Adaptation and French Validation of a Scale to Assess it.
Geurten, Marie ULg; Catale, Corinne ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg

in INS Abstract Book (2013)

The present study aimed at adapting and testing a French version of Kreutzer et al.’s metamemory interview (1975) in a group of 128 children aged of 4, 6, 9, and 12. Following Fritz et al. (2010 ... [more ▼]

The present study aimed at adapting and testing a French version of Kreutzer et al.’s metamemory interview (1975) in a group of 128 children aged of 4, 6, 9, and 12. Following Fritz et al. (2010), adjustments have been made to reduce language skill contamination as well as to increase the developmental appropriateness and sensibility of the scale. Results show the emergence of two sub-scales (“strategy knowledge” and “general memory knowledge”) on the factor analysis and reveal an excellent interrater reliability as well as a good internal consistency for the global scale and two sub-scales (respectively, Cronbach α = .79; .81 and .71). As expected with regard to the literature, a significant correlation has appeared between the metamemory scale and short-term memory capacities (convergent validity). Similarly, the metamemory score has shown its ability to predict children memory performance (predictive validity). Finally, the lack of correlation between most of the scale’s items and vocabulary measurement (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test) and the very good ability of the scale to distinguish between age groups demonstrate that the adaptations made to improve the Kreutzer et al.’s scale in terms of language’s contamination and developmental sensibility have reached their goal. Regarding its psychometric properties, these results suggest that this interview can be considered as a useful and reliable tool for developmental research. Furthermore, they confirm the importance of metamemory knowledge in memory performance. Future studies will have to be carried out to show the utility of this scale in a clinical population. [less ▲]

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See detailAge-Related Differences in Perceptuomotor Procedural Learning in Children
Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Catale, Corinne ULg; Schmitz, Xavier ULg et al

in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (2013), 116

Procedural learning is generally considered to proceed in a series of phases, with cognitive resources playing an important role during the initial step. From a developmental perspective, little is known ... [more ▼]

Procedural learning is generally considered to proceed in a series of phases, with cognitive resources playing an important role during the initial step. From a developmental perspective, little is known about the development of procedural learning or the role played by explicit cognitive processes during learning. The main objectives of this study were: (1) to determine whether procedural learning performance improves with age by comparing groups of 7-yearold children, 10-year-old children, and adults, and (2) to investigate the role played by executive functions during the acquisition in these three age groups. Seventy-six subjects were assessed on a computerized adaptation of the mirror tracing paradigm. Results revealed that the youngest children had more difficulty adapting to the task (they were slower and committed more errors at the beginning of the learning process) than 10-year-olds, but despite this age effect observed at the outset, all children improved performance across trials and transferred their skill to a different figure as well as adults. Correlational analyses showed that inhibition abilities play a key role in the performance of 10-year-olds and adults at the beginning of the learning, but not in 7-year-olds. Overall, our results suggest that the age-related differences observed in our procedural learning task are at least partly due to the differential involvement of inhibition abilities, which may facilitate (so long as they are sufficiently developed) learning in the initial steps of learning process; however, they would not be a necessary condition for skill learning to occur. [less ▲]

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See detailValidation of a French Version of a New Anxiety Trait Scale for Children
Geurten, Marie ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg; Fresson, Megan ULg et al

Poster (2013)

Anxiety diagnosis is relatively complex in children because intensity as well as symptoms of anxiety change during childhood (Bouden, Halayem, & Fakhfakh, 2002). The principal aim of this study was to ... [more ▼]

Anxiety diagnosis is relatively complex in children because intensity as well as symptoms of anxiety change during childhood (Bouden, Halayem, & Fakhfakh, 2002). The principal aim of this study was to validate through Confirmatory Factor Analyses (CFA) the a priori three-factor structure of the French version of the anxiety trait scale for children which includes psychological (“tend to be worried about everything”), behavioral (“tend to be upset, nervous or grumbling”), and somatic symptoms (“headache complaints”) of anxiety. This scale was previously found to discriminate, with high sensitivity and specificity, children with anxiety from control group. A first CFA performed on 288 6-12 year-old children showed an acceptable fit (2/df =2.66; RMSEA=.07 and CFI=.94). A second three-factor model was constructed and showed a better fit with a new sample of 287 children (2/df =2.18; RMSEA=.06 and CFI=.96), with a lower ECVI value for the model 2. For this model, the Cronbach’s alpha for each of the subscales ranged from .71 to .86, which confirmed the good internal reliability of the scale. This study provides a new three-factor structure for this anxiety scale and proposes normative data for French-speaking children. [less ▲]

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See detailPerceptual andMotor Inhibition in ADHD:Evidence for a specific impairment?
Catale, Corinne ULg; Geurten, Marie ULg; Lejeune et al

in Abstracts book (2013)

Objective: Inhibition, one of the core executive processes in executive functioning (Miyake et al., 2000) is generally not considered as an unitary construct (see for example, Friedman & Miyake, 2004 ... [more ▼]

Objective: Inhibition, one of the core executive processes in executive functioning (Miyake et al., 2000) is generally not considered as an unitary construct (see for example, Friedman & Miyake, 2004; Nassauer & Halperin, 2003). Following the perceptual versus motor dissociation proposed by Nassauer and Halperin (2003), we studied perceptual and motor inhibition in children with AttentionDeficit andHyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Participants and Methods: Sixteen 7-12 years old children with ADHD and 30 matched control children were administered a version of the Conflict Resolution task (Nassauer & Halperin, 2003) adapted for children. In this task, the perceptual inhibition task required the children to respond to the direction of a dog (running towards the left or the right) while ignoring its location (left or right) on a computer screen. In the motor inhibition task, the children had to press a key corresponding to the opposite direction of a centrally running dog. Results: Comparisons analyses of inhibition performances between ADHD children and matched controlled subjects showed that ADHD children performed significantly less accurately for stimulus-stimulus characteristic conflicts (i.e., perceptual inhibition) than for stimulus- response conflicts (i.e., motor inhibition), which suggests a specific impairment in perceptual inhibition in our group of ADHD children. Conclusions: In conclusion, this study supports the presence of two forms of inhibition which can be differentiated and specifically impaired in 7- to 12-year-old ADHD children. [less ▲]

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