References of "Meulemans, Thierry"
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See detailProcedural learning in specific language impairment: effects of sequence complexity
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Maillart, Christelle ULg; Stefaniak, Nicolas ULg et al

in Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society (2012)

According to the procedural deficit hypothesis (PDH), abnormal development in the procedural memory system could account for the language deficits observed in specific language impairment (SLI). Recent ... [more ▼]

According to the procedural deficit hypothesis (PDH), abnormal development in the procedural memory system could account for the language deficits observed in specific language impairment (SLI). Recent studies have supported this hypothesis by using a serial reaction time (SRT) task, during which a slower learning rate is observed in children with SLI compared to controls. Recently, we obtained contrasting results, demonstrating that children with SLI were able to learn a sequence as quickly and as accurately as controls. These discrepancies could be related to differences in the statistical structure of the SRT sequence between these studies. The aim of this study was to further assess, in a group of 21 children with SLI, the PDH with second-order conditional sequences, which are more difficult to learn than those used in previous studies. Our results show that children with SLI had impaired procedural memory, as evidenced by both longer reaction times and no sign of sequence-specific learning in comparison with typically developing controls. These results are consistent with the PDH proposed by Ullman and Pierpont (2005) and suggest that procedural sequence-learning in SLI children depends on the complexity of the to-be-learned sequence. [less ▲]

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See detailUnimpaired Procedural visual learning abilities in children with specific language impairment..
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Stefaniak, Nicolas ULg; Maillart, Christelle ULg et al

in American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (2012)

Purpose: According to the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH), difficulties in the Procedural Learning (PL) system may contribute to the language difficulties observed in children with Specific Language ... [more ▼]

Purpose: According to the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH), difficulties in the Procedural Learning (PL) system may contribute to the language difficulties observed in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Method: Fifteen children with SLI and their typically developing (TD) peers were compared on visual PL tasks: specifically, deterministic Serial Reaction Time (SRT) tasks. In a first experiment, children with SLI and their TD peers performed the classical SRT task using a keyboard as response mode. In a second experiment, they performed the same SRT task but gave their responses through a touchscreen (instead of a keyboard) to reduce the motor and cognitive demands of the task. Results: Although in Experiment 1, children with SLI demonstrated learning, they were slower and made more errors than their TD peers. Nevertheless, these relative weaknesses disappeared when the nature of the response mode changed (Experiment 2). Conclusions: This study reports that children with SLI may exhibit sequential learning. Moreover, the generally slower RTs observed in previous deterministic SRT studies may be explained by the response mode used. Thus, our findings are not consistent with the predictions of the PDH, and suggest that language impairments in SLI are not sustained by poor procedural learning abilities. [less ▲]

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See detailIs motor sequence learning impaired in Developmental Coordination Disorder?
Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Catale, Corinne ULg; Schmitz, Xavier ULg et al

Poster (2012)

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a developmental disorder characterized by marked impairments in motor skills. Despite its negative impact on daily activities and on cognitive and academic ... [more ▼]

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a developmental disorder characterized by marked impairments in motor skills. Despite its negative impact on daily activities and on cognitive and academic performance, the mechanisms underlying this disorder remain largely unknown. One hypothesis that has been proposed is that the poor motor coordination abilities may be attributed to impairments in motor learning and, more specifically, in learning of the correct sequencing of movements (Gheysen et al., 2011). To date, only two studies have directly investigated sequence learning in DCD, but their results are contradictory. The aim of this study was to explore learning of motor sequence in DCD children by means of a modified version of the Serial Reaction Time (SRT) task where the standard keyboard was replaced by a touch screen in order to reduce the impact of the DCD group’s motor difficulties. A total of 34 children (17 with DCD and 17 typically developing (TD) children aged between 6 and 12 years old participated in this study. Results show that DCD children were able to learn the sequence as fast and as accurately as TD children. These findings, showing that children with DCD present the same degree of implicit learning as TD children, differ from those obtained by Gheysen et al. (2011) and so, challenge the motor sequence learning deficit hypothesis. We suggest that differences between studies are not related to an implicit sequence learning deficit per se in children with DCD, but rather to methodological aspects like the response mode used in the studies. [less ▲]

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See detailParental educational level influence on memory and executive performance in children
Catale, Corinne ULg; Willems, Sylvie ULg; Lejeune, Caroline ULg et al

in European Review of Applied Psychology = Revue Européenne de Psychologie Appliquée (2012), 62

Introduction. – The influence of Parental Educational Status (PES) on cognitive performance has been confirmed in several studies. Objective. – The aim of this study was to explore the relationship ... [more ▼]

Introduction. – The influence of Parental Educational Status (PES) on cognitive performance has been confirmed in several studies. Objective. – The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between PES and several domains of cognitive functioning and examine, through mediation analyses, the relationship between PES, language,and cognitive tasks. Method. – We first administered tasks measuring memory, executive and attentional abilities to 64 European native French speakers, divided into two groups of children according to parents’ educational status. Results. – The results suggest that, on most tasks, the effect of socio-educational status is mediated by language abilities. However, because the results were less clear for executive functions, we carried out a second experiment in which we administered more specific executive measures (i.e. inhibition, cognitive flexibility, updating and reasoning) to 80 children. Conclusion. – The results confirmed the influence of the parents’ educational status on the executive functioning and also that, contrary to other cognitive functions, this influence on executive tasks is not completely explained by language differences. [less ▲]

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See detailRelationship between video game practice and attentional performance in children
Catale, Corinne ULg; Lejeune, Caroline; Meulemans, Thierry ULg

in 1st Joint Meeting of the Belgian Association for Psychological Science and Sociedad Espanola de Psicologia Experimental. Book of abstracts (2012)

Recent studies in adults have shown an advantage for video games players compared to non-video game players on several attentional tasks, and particularly those involving visual processing and spatial ... [more ▼]

Recent studies in adults have shown an advantage for video games players compared to non-video game players on several attentional tasks, and particularly those involving visual processing and spatial distribution of attention. However, little is known about the influence of video game practice on children’s attentional and executive abilities. In this study, eighty 8-10 years old children divided into three groups (non-video-game players [NVGP], moderate video game players [MVGP], and Intense video game player [IVGP]) were administered computerized attentional/executive tasks tapping vigilance, visual and auditory selective attention, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility. Parents were also asked to complete behavioral scales. Results indicate limited effects of video game practice on attentional/executive tasks, with an advantage in reaction time only for vigilance and flexibility tasks. On the other hand, results on behavioral measures showed a positive relationship between the importance of video-game practice and hyperactive behaviors. In conclusion, these results support the idea that video game practice has a limited influence on attentional performance in children, while they might have an effect on the behavioral area. [less ▲]

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See detailNew learning in dementia
Bier, Nathalie; Adam, Stéphane ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg

in Seel, Robert (Ed.) Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning (2012)

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See detailAcquisition of a new motor skill in preschool- and school-aged children
Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Merbah, Sarah ULg; Catale, Corinne ULg et al

in Books of Abstract: ASecond Meeting of The Federation of European Societies of Neuropsychology (2011, September)

It is generally admitted that procedural learning abilities are efficient early in childhood. However, few studies have been carried out in this area. The aim of this study was to explore, with a ... [more ▼]

It is generally admitted that procedural learning abilities are efficient early in childhood. However, few studies have been carried out in this area. The aim of this study was to explore, with a perceptivo-motor learning task, whether procedural learning abilities are present to the same extent in 4-, 7-, and 10-year-old children. Forty-five children were tested. The task included 4 blocks of 12 trials during which each subject had to “catch”, as quickly as possible, several toys presented successively on the screen with a computerized inverted mouse. Retention tests, composed of 2 blocks of 12 trials, were administered 15 minutes and 1 week later. The analyses showed an important difference between groups in the first block. This difference could be related to the low ability of young children to handle the mouse and to their less developed executive functioning. On the other hand, results showed a similar learning rate between 5- and 7-year-old children, supporting the idea that procedural learning abilities are efficient early in development. However, we observed no procedural learning in10-year-old children; this unexpected result is probably due to the fact that this task was too easy for this age group, which is confirmed by the ceiling effect already observed during the first learning blocks. So, this study confirms the early efficiency of procedural abilities in childhood, but also highlights the difficulty to develop procedural learning tasks adapted to children from a large age range. [less ▲]

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See detailL’apprentissage de nouvelles informations sémantiques par les patients amnésiques : une revue de la littérature.
Stefaniak, Nicolas ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg

in Année Psychologique (L') (2011), 111

The ability of amnesic patients to learn new semantic information is a topic of research that has a renewed interest for about 10 years, in particular following Vargha-Khadem’s and collaborators’ (1997 ... [more ▼]

The ability of amnesic patients to learn new semantic information is a topic of research that has a renewed interest for about 10 years, in particular following Vargha-Khadem’s and collaborators’ (1997) works and the impact of these results both on our understanding of the relations between semantic and episodic memory and, from a clinical point of view, on the way to consider rehabilitation possibilities for these patients. This review aims to present what is known about this topic, by trying to respond to 4 different questions: What are the relations between episodic and semantic memory? Does the study of amnesic patients provide contributive data regarding this debate? Are these patients really able to learn new semantic information and, if so, to what extent? What is the nature of the knowledge that amnesic patients can acquire? [less ▲]

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See detailIncidental non linguistic regularities learning in Children with
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg; Parisse, Christophe et al

Poster (2011, July)

Recent studies on specific language impairment (SLI) have suggested that language deficits could be partly explained by the Procedural Deficit hypothesis (PDH; Ullman & Pierpont, 2005). Tomblin et al ... [more ▼]

Recent studies on specific language impairment (SLI) have suggested that language deficits could be partly explained by the Procedural Deficit hypothesis (PDH; Ullman & Pierpont, 2005). Tomblin et al. (2007) and Lum et al. (2009; 2011) obtained data supporting this interpretation with the serial reaction time (SRT) task, as well as Evans et al. (2009) and Plante et al. (2002) with artificial grammar tasks. Recently, Gabriel et al. (2011) obtained contrasting results, showing that children with SLI were able to detect non linguistic regularities during a SRT task. The aim of this study was to assess the PDH by using a non-linguistic artificial grammar learning tasks in order to mimic real conditions of language acquisition. Twenty-three children with SLI and their typically developing (TD) peers are compared on a task in which the incidental learning sequence was presented through visual shapes via a laptop.These results confirm our previous study (Gabriel et al., 2011) by showing that children with SLI detect the rules in non-linguistic conditions. • So, contrary to results of previous studies (Evans et al., 2009; Lum et al., 2009; 2011; Plante et al., 2002; Tomblin et al., 2007), this study does not confirm the PDH in children with SLI, or at least suggests that, if present, the deficit of the procedural system in SLI is not going beyond the language system. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopmental differences in the procedural learning of a perceptual-motor skill
Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Catale, Corinne ULg; Merbah, Sarah ULg et al

Poster (2011, May 27)

It is generally admitted that procedural learning is efficient early in childhood. However, few studies have brought empirical data confirming this assumption, and many questions remain regarding the ... [more ▼]

It is generally admitted that procedural learning is efficient early in childhood. However, few studies have brought empirical data confirming this assumption, and many questions remain regarding the cognitive mechanisms that sustain procedural learning in children. The aim of our study was to investigate whether perceptual-motor procedural learning was present to the same extent in 7-, 10-year-old children and in adults. We also examined the role of executive functions, working memory, general intelligence, and motor ability during the learning process. A total of 76 subjects divided into 3 age-groups were tested. The task included 4 blocks of 3 trials during which each subject had to trace the contour of a triangle with an inverted computer mouse. Analyses show an important difference between groups in the initial phase of the learning process. They also reveal that executive functions intervene during the first learning phase, which might explain the observed age effect. In addition, results show significant but different learning effects for the procedural task: while the improvement was equivalent between 10-year-olds and adults, 7-year-old children showed a greater learning slope than the other groups; despite their slowness during the first blocks, younger children showed an equivalent performance at the end of the learning phase. These results suggest that, if executive processes are important during the first learning steps, they are not a “necessary condition” for motor skill learning to occur. The role of compensatory strategies sustaining learning in younger children is discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailEfficacy of errorless learning in the acquisition of a new procedural skill in Alzheimer's disease
Schmitz, Xavier ULg; Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Vervecken, Nancy et al

Poster (2011, May 27)

In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), implicit or procedural rehabilitation techniques would be more effective to train new skills than explicit or declarative learning methods (van Halteren-van Tilborg, 2007 ... [more ▼]

In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), implicit or procedural rehabilitation techniques would be more effective to train new skills than explicit or declarative learning methods (van Halteren-van Tilborg, 2007). Following Baddeley and Wilson (1994)’s assumption, Maxwell et al. (2001) showed that reducing errors during motor learning minimizes the building of declarative knowledge and would allow implicit knowledge accumulation. However, most studies on errorless learning focused on learning of face-name associations (Clare et al., , 2001), and very few studies have investigated errorless learning in procedural learning situations, even though some data suggest that errorless learning would be efficient for learning instrumental activities of daily living (e.g., Thivierge et al., 2008). The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of an error-reducing versus an errorfull method in motor skill learning. We examined the acquisition of a new motor skill in 24 patients with AD and 24 healthy older adults matched for age, sex, and education. In this task, subjects had to follow with a reversed mouse the contour of a form (a star) displayed on a computer screen. Half the subjects learned in an error-reducing condition, and the others in an errorfull condition. After the learning phase, all the subjects had to complete a novel form. Results show an advantage for the error-reducing condition in the AD group, whereas the performance of the healthy participants did not differ between the two conditions, confirming the efficiency of errorless learning principles in AD for procedural learning situations. [less ▲]

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See detailExploration of serial structure procedural learning in children with language impairment.
Gabriel, Audrey ULg; Maillart, Christelle ULg; Guillaume, mélody et al

in Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society (2011), 17

Recent studies on specific language impairment (SLI) have suggested that language deficits are directly associated with poor procedural learning abilities. Findings from our previous work are contrary to ... [more ▼]

Recent studies on specific language impairment (SLI) have suggested that language deficits are directly associated with poor procedural learning abilities. Findings from our previous work are contrary to this hypothesis; we found that children with SLI were able to learn eight-element-long sequences as fast and as accurately as children with normal language (NL) on a serial reaction time (SRT) task. A probabilistic rather than a deterministic SRT paradigm was used in the current study to explore procedural learning in children with SLI to mimic real conditions of language learning. Fifteen children with or without SLI were compared on an SRT task including a probabilistic eight-element-long sequence. Results show that children with SLI were able to learn this sequence as fast and as accurately as children with NL, and that similar sequence-specific learning was observed in both groups. These results are novel and suggest that children with SLI do not display global procedural system deficits. (JINS, 2011, 17, 1-8). [less ▲]

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See detailIntérêts et limites du bilan neuropsychologique dans le cadre de l’expertise médicolégale
Meulemans, Thierry ULg

in Douleur et Analgésie (2011), 24(1), 41-55

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See detailConstruction and validation of a new perceptual priming task: The contrasted word task
Geurten, Marie ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg

Poster (2011)

In clinical neuropsychology, different rehabilitation techniques – e.g., vanishing cues, spaced retrieval, errorless learning – developed for patients with memory impairments are considered to make use of ... [more ▼]

In clinical neuropsychology, different rehabilitation techniques – e.g., vanishing cues, spaced retrieval, errorless learning – developed for patients with memory impairments are considered to make use of the preserved implicit memory abilities shown by these patients, and notably the perceptual priming effects (Harrison et al., 2007). It might be therefore important for clinician neuropsychologists to determine whether these abilities are preserved or not in their patients. However, and quite surprisingly, assessment tools aimed at assessing implicit memory abilities in brain damaged patients are lacking. The aim of this study was to build and validate a new perceptual priming task – the contrasted word task – which could be used by neuropsychologists in their clinical practice. Seventy-two young healthy participants were included in this study, and were administered the contrasted word task in which 60 words counterbalanced in 2 orders and 3 types of priming (Visual; Auditory; New) emerged gradually from a white background on a computer screen. Subjects were asked to press the response key when they thought they had recognized the word. Results show a perceptual priming effect which is specific to the exposure modality (i.e., no inter-modality transfer), proving the efficacy of the contrasted word task to highlight a facilitated identification for words that were shown previously, and confirming the perceptual specificity of the priming effect (Schacter, 1992). [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment and organization of executive functions in 4-to 11 year-old children: A factor study.
Catale, Corinne ULg; Collette, Fabienne ULg; Lejeune, Caroline ULg et al

in Books of Abstract: Annual Meeting of the Belgian Association for Psychological Science (2011)

Executive functioning (EF) is an umbrella term used to refer to the higher-order cognitive processes whose principal function is to facilitate the adaptation of an individual to new and non-routine ... [more ▼]

Executive functioning (EF) is an umbrella term used to refer to the higher-order cognitive processes whose principal function is to facilitate the adaptation of an individual to new and non-routine situations. In the present study, inhibition, mental flexibility, and working memory were assessed through 6 executive tasks administered to 329 children aged from 4 to 11 years, in order to examine the development and organization of executive functioning in both early and middle childhood. Results reveal specific developmental trends for each component, with a period of rapid general development during the preschool period. Confirmatory factor analyses were used to examine the organization of EF in our sample. First, the poorness of fit of the unitary model was found for both groups, confirming the fractionated nature of EF in preschoolers as well as in older children. Second, the analyses confirmed the adequacy of the fit of the three-dimensional model (i.e., inhibition, flexibility, and working memory), while also indicating that other specific two-dimensional models gave reasonable fits to the data from both age groups. The factor structure obtained supports both the unitary and diversity nature of the executive organisation during early and middle childhood. Furthermore, our data suggest a progressive differentiation of executive processes (in particular flexibility and working memory) in the course of development. [less ▲]

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See detailLearning a motor skill: Effects of Blocked vs. Random Practice. A review
Merbah, Sarah ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg

in Psychologica Belgica (2011), 51(1), 15-48

Procedural learning refers to the ability to learn new perceptual, motor or cognitive skills. While many studies have explored procedural learning abilities in patients with different types of brain ... [more ▼]

Procedural learning refers to the ability to learn new perceptual, motor or cognitive skills. While many studies have explored procedural learning abilities in patients with different types of brain damage, the cognitive mechanisms involved in the acquisition of a new skill are still not well understood. The present review focuses on the conditions that optimize skill acquisition, and more specifically on the contextual interference effect (CIE), which refers to the advantage of a ‘random’ over a ‘blocked’ practice condition in skill learning tasks. According to both the ‘elaboration’ and ‘reconstruction’ hypotheses, the CIE can be explained by the fact that the random schedule requires more cognitive activity than the blocked one. However, if the CIE has been consistently demonstrated in laboratory studies, it is not so clear in fieldbased studies. We discuss this ‘laboratory and field dilemma’, and suggest that two main factors – task complexity and individual variables – may explain the discrepancy between the two types of studies. [less ▲]

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See detailSensibilité et spécificité du CHildhood EXecutive functioning Inventory (CHEXI) chez des enfants avec troubles attentionnels
Catale, Corinne ULg; Lejeune, Caroline ULg; Merbah, Sarah ULg et al

in ANAE : Approche Neuropsychologique des Apprentissages chez l'Enfant (2011), 115

Thorell and Nyberg (2008) have recently developed the Childhood Executive Functioning Inventory (CHEXI), a new rating inventory of executive functioning for children that can be divided into four a priori ... [more ▼]

Thorell and Nyberg (2008) have recently developed the Childhood Executive Functioning Inventory (CHEXI), a new rating inventory of executive functioning for children that can be divided into four a priori subscales: working memory, planning, inhibition, and regulation The major goals of our study is to present a French adaptation of this questionnaire and to discuss its clinical interests in terms of sensibility and specificity with children with attentional deficits. [less ▲]

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See detailLearning a motor skill: Effects of blocked versus random practice. A review
Merbah, Sarah ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg

in Psychologica Belgica (2011), 51

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See detailImpaired Acquisition Of A Mirror-Reading Skill In Alzheimer’s Disease
Merbah, Sarah ULg; Salmon, Eric ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg

in Cortex : A Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System & Behavior (2011), 47

Several studies using the mirror-reading paradigm have shown that procedural learning and repetition priming may be preserved in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) (e.g., Deweer et al., 1994 ... [more ▼]

Several studies using the mirror-reading paradigm have shown that procedural learning and repetition priming may be preserved in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) (e.g., Deweer et al., 1994). According to the classical interpretation, improved reading time for repeated words is sustained by a repetition priming effect, while procedural learning is demonstrated when this improvement is also observed for new words. Following Masson (1986), the hypothesis tested in the present study was that improved reading of new words could also be due to a repetition priming effect rather than to the acquisition of a mirror-reading skill. Indeed, because the same letters are presented throughout the task, a repetition priming effect for the letters could suffice to explain the improvement in performance. To test this hypothesis, we administered to 30 healthy young and elderly subjects and to 30 AD patients a new mirror-reading task in two phases: an acquisition phase comprising pseudo-words constructed with one part of the alphabet, and a test phase in which both pseudo-words constructed with the same part of the alphabet and pseudo-words constructed with another part of the alphabet were presented. If the new pseudo-words composed with repeated letters were read faster, it would reflect a repetition priming effect; if pseudo-words composed of ‘new’ letters were read faster, it would reflect a procedural learning effect. The results show comparable repetition priming effects in AD patients and in healthy elderly subjects, whereas only healthy subjects showed a procedural learning effect. These results suggest, contrary to previous studies, that the learning of a new perceptual skill may not always be preserved in AD. [less ▲]

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See detailExploration of perceptual and motor inhibition in children with traumatic brain injury
Catale, Corinne ULg; Germain, Sophie ULg; Meulemans, Thierry ULg

in Perceptual & Motor Skills (2011), 113(3), 1-13

Perceptual and motor inhibition were examined using conflict resolution tasks for 12 children with traumatic brain injury and 24 matched controls. Direct comparisons of inhibition performances between the ... [more ▼]

Perceptual and motor inhibition were examined using conflict resolution tasks for 12 children with traumatic brain injury and 24 matched controls. Direct comparisons of inhibition performances between the two groups showed a specific and disproportionate impairment of motor inhibition (compared with perceptual inhibition) for the children with traumatic brain injury, which suggests that inhibition processes might be differentially impaired in children after traumatic brain injury. [less ▲]

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