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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 detailAutomatization of mirror - tracing skill in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder
Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg; Desmottes, Lise ULg et al

Poster (2014, September)

Aim: This study investigated the hypothesis of a skill automatization deficit in Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Method: Thirty children (15 with DCD and 15 control children), aged between 7 ... [more ▼]

Aim: This study investigated the hypothesis of a skill automatization deficit in Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Method: Thirty children (15 with DCD and 15 control children), aged between 7 and 12 years old, were administered the mirror-tracing task during two 10-trials sessions separated by one week. An auditory interference task was introduced at the end of the procedural learning phase to test skill automatization. Results: Interestingly, no between-group difference was revealed in learning and automatization measures except for a specific subgroup of DCD children (n=5) who experienced difficulties in skill automatization. Conclusion: The results of our preliminary study highlighted the heterogeneity of the deficit presented in DCD and they emphasized the importance to explore further the lack of automatization in DCD. [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 detailAge difference in dual-task interference effects on procedural learning in children
Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Desmottes, Lise ULg; Catale, Corinne ULg et al

in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (2014)

The present study aimed to investigate the role played by explicit mechanisms during procedural learning in two age groups of children (7 and 10 years old), using a dual-task paradigm. To do this, we ... [more ▼]

The present study aimed to investigate the role played by explicit mechanisms during procedural learning in two age groups of children (7 and 10 years old), using a dual-task paradigm. To do this, we explored the effect of an interference task during the early and late phases of a mirror tracing learning task. The results showed a differential impact of the secondary task on the two age groups, but only during the first learning phase: the performance of 10-year-olds was affected by the second task, whereas in 7-year-olds no performance difference was found between the single- and dual-task conditions. Overall, our study suggests that there are differences in the amount of effortful processing that 7- and 10-year-olds engage at the beginning of the learning process: Procedural learning in young children is mainly implicit, as attested by its lesser sensitivity to an interference task, whereas high-level explicit mechanisms seem to contribute to the procedural performance of 10-year-old children. However, these explicit mechanisms, even if they have an effect on performance, may not have an impact on the learning curve because no difference in rate of acquisition was found between age groups. These findings are discussed in the light of classical conceptions of procedural learning. [less ▲]

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See detailVisual neglect: Is there a relationship between impaired spatial working memory and re-cancellation?
Wansard, Murielle ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg; Gillet, Sophie ULg et al

in Experimental Brain Research (2014), 232(10), 3333-3343

In visual search tasks, neglect patients tend to explore and repeatedly re-cancel stimuli on the ipsilesional side, as if they did not realize that they had previously examined the rightward locations ... [more ▼]

In visual search tasks, neglect patients tend to explore and repeatedly re-cancel stimuli on the ipsilesional side, as if they did not realize that they had previously examined the rightward locations favoured by their lateral bias. The aim of this study was to explore the hypothesis that a spatial working memory deficit explains these ipsilesional re-cancellation errors in neglect patients. For the first time, we evaluated spatial working memory and re-cancellation through separate and independent tasks in a group of patients with right hemisphere damage and a diagnosis of left neglect. Results showed impaired spatial working memory in neglect patients. Compared to the control group, neglect patients cancelled fewer targets and made more re-cancellations both on the left side and on the right side. The spatial working memory deficit appears to be related to re-cancellations, but only for some neglect patients. Alternative interpretations of re-exploration of space are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Conners Parent Rating Scale: Psychometric properties in typically developing 4- to 12-year-old Belgian French-speaking children
Catale, Corinne ULg; Geurten, Marie ULg; Lejeune, Caroline ULg et al

in European Review of Applied Psychology = Revue Européenne de Psychologie Appliquée (2014), 64

The Conners Parent Rating Scale – 48 items (CPRS) is one of the most widely used behavioralscales in clinical and research settings with children. The principal aim of this study was to validate the five ... [more ▼]

The Conners Parent Rating Scale – 48 items (CPRS) is one of the most widely used behavioralscales in clinical and research settings with children. The principal aim of this study was to validate the five-factor structure of the French version ofthe CPRS in 4- to 12-year-old Belgian French-speaking children. Secondly, a sample of children with Atten-tion Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was assessed and their ADHD CPRS profile was examined. A total of 382 typically developing children from 4 to 12 years old were included in this study.Furthermore, 15 children (aged 6 to 12 years old) diagnosed with ADHD participated in this study. Confirmatory factor analysis shows that the CPRS presents good psychometric properties andhas a factor structure similar to the original version. Furthermore, the CPRS shows high rates of sensitivityand specificity when the ADHD and control group scores are compared. This study confirms the original five-factor structure of the CPRS when used with French-speaking children. Our results highlight the fact that the CPRS is a reliable measure of parental perceptionof their children’s disruptive [less ▲]

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See detailWhen children stop trusting what they have perceived
Geurten, Marie ULg; Willems, Sylvie; Meulemans, Thierry ULg

in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation Special Interest Group of the WFNR - Conference Programme (2014)

Background and aims: A common hypothesis to explain metamemory heuristics learning throughout childhood lies on the assumption that the knowledge underlying these metacognitive rules develop from people’s ... [more ▼]

Background and aims: A common hypothesis to explain metamemory heuristics learning throughout childhood lies on the assumption that the knowledge underlying these metacognitive rules develop from people’s prior day-to-day experiences. However, the specific processes that sustain this learning are still unclear. In this study, we examined the mechanisms implicated in this empirical development by manipulating the learned interpretation of the Easily Learned = Easily Remembered (ELER) heuristic through an implicit process involving the detection of environmental regularities. Method: A sample of sixty normally developing children aged 4-5, 6-7, and 8-9 years old was recruited for this study. Each child participated in three 60-minute sessions separated approximately by one-week interval and was trained to learn implicitly a reverse interpretation of the ELER heuristic. The influence of executive functions on children’s judgment of learning at posttest was also investigated. Results: In addition to an early development of the ELER heuristic, results revealed a reduction of this heuristic’s use after the implicit training in the two youngest groups. Furthermore, executive monitoring was demonstrated to account for the lack of change observed in older children after the training phases. Conclusions: In a developmental perspective, these findings present a coherent picture of children’s learning of metacognitive heuristics. Specifically, automatic and implicit learning was demonstrated to be followed by an effortful control of the heuristics’ use. [less ▲]

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See detailWhen children’s metamemory knowledge and strategic time monitoring predict prospective memory performance
Geurten, Marie ULg; Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Leriche, Charline et al

Poster (2014)

Objective: This study examines the effect of metamemory knowledge, strategic time monitoring, and ongoing task difficulty on children’s prospective memory (PM). Method: Children (aged of 4, 6, and 9) were ... [more ▼]

Objective: This study examines the effect of metamemory knowledge, strategic time monitoring, and ongoing task difficulty on children’s prospective memory (PM). Method: Children (aged of 4, 6, and 9) were given a task inspired by the mirror training paradigm while they performed a time-based memory task. Half of the participants (expert group) were trained to the ongoing activity before the PM test. Results: PM was shown to be predicted by strategic time monitoring. Influence of metamemory knowledge on children’s strategic time monitoring was demonstrated in the expert group. Non-experts’ strategic time monitoring was shown to be predicted only by their ongoing task performance. Conclusion: The implication of metacognitive processes in PM is discussed in the context of the multiprocess framework. [less ▲]

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See detailCan the exploration of left space be induced implicitly in unilateral neglect?
Wansard, Murielle ULg; Bartolomeo, Paolo; Geurten, Marie ULg et al

in Consciousness & Cognition (2014)

The purpose of the present study was to explore the ability of neglect patients to detect and exploit the predictive value of a cue to respond more quickly and accurately to targets on their ... [more ▼]

The purpose of the present study was to explore the ability of neglect patients to detect and exploit the predictive value of a cue to respond more quickly and accurately to targets on their contralesional side in a Posner spatial cueing task. The majority of the cues (i.e. 80%) were invalid, indicating that the target would appear on the opposite side, although patients were not informed of this bias. Our results demonstrate that some neglect patients were able to extract the cue’s predictability and use it to orient faster toward the left. This cueing effect was present even in patients who were subsequently unable to describe the predictive character of the cues, and thus was not modulated by reportable awareness of the cue-target relation. [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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