Learning to read with Neurofibromatosis Type 1

We are pleased to share with you the latest article published in the journal Vision Research by Marie Vernet (ToNIC / LPL / CLLE) and Stéphanie Ducrot (LPL) in collaboration with colleagues from Aix, Montpellier and Toulouse:

Reference: Vernet, M., Bellocchi, S., Danna, J., Massendari, D., Jover, M., Chaix, Y., Ducrot, S. (2023). The determinants of saccade targeting strategy in neurodevelopmental disorders: The influence of suboptimal reading experience. Vision Research, 204, 108162 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.visres.2022.108162

 Abstract: Whether eye-movements deficits are causal in reading disorders (RD) or rather a consequence of linguistic processing difficulty experienced by disabled readers has been extensively debated.Since RD are frequently comorbid with the Neurofibromatosis type1 (NF1), children with NF1 were used as a comparison group for children with dyslexia in this study.Eye movements were recorded while 21 dyslexic, 20 NF1, and 20 typically developing children performed an oculomotor lateralized bisection task. In this experiment, we manipulated the type of stimulus - discrete (words and strings of hashes) versus continuous (solid lines) - and the visual field where the stimulus was displayed (left vs right). The results showed that (1) only proficient readers (TD and NF1 without RD) showed fully developed oculomotor mechanisms for efficient reading, with a clear preferred viewing location located to the left of the word's centre in both visual fields, and fine-tuned saccade targeting guided by the between-character space information and (2) NF1 poor readers mirrored the dyslexic eye movement behaviour, with less accuracy and more variability in saccadic programming, no sensitivity to the discreteness of the stimuli, particularly in the left visual field. We concluded that disruption to oculomotor behaviour reflectsthe fact that many of the processes involved in reading are not yet automatized for children with RD, independently of NF1. This suggests that the differences in saccade targeting strategy between children with and without RD would be secondary consequences of their reduced reading experience.

Reference @HAL (article under embargo, available on request): https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/LPL-AIX/hal-03924190v1


Photo: 8-year-old child with NF1. Credits: Authors of the publication.


Can text simplification improve reading fluency and comprehension?

We are pleased to announce the publication of the article "Simplification of literary and scientific texts to improve reading fluency and comprehension in beginning readers of French" co-written by Núria Gala (LPL-AMU) and colleagues from the research structures LPC, ADEF, SCALab and IL&C.

The article published today by the journal Applied Psycholinguistics is available through open access at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S014271642100062X

Contact: nuria.gala@univ-amu.fr

Visuo-attentional and reading skills: the look says it all

In its July issue of the AMU Letter, Aix-Marseille University devoted a brief to the last article by Stéphanie Bellocchi (Epsylon Montpellier) and Stéphanie Ducrot (LPL) published in the journal Dyslexia:

Bellocchi, S., & Ducrot, S. (2021). “Same, same but different”: The optimal viewing position effect in developmental dyslexia, developmental coordination disorder and comorbid disorders. Dyslexia,1–18. https://doi.org/10.1002/dys.1688

Link: La Lettre AMU N°91 JUILLET 2021 (adobe.com) (p. 37)

Contact: stephanie.ducrot@univ-amu.fr

Can we predict reading difficulties from the visual skills assessed in kindergarten?

Marie Vernet, doctoral student at the LPL and at the Toulouse NeuroImaging Center (ToNIC), is the first author of an article published in the journal Applied Neuropsychology: Child entitled "Predicting future poor readers from pre-reading visual skills". She carried out the study in collaboration with Stéphanie Ducrot (LPL) and Yves Chaix (ToNIC) as well as Stéphanie Bellocchi (EPSYLON Montpellier) and Laurie Leibnitz (CMPP Fort-de-France), two former members of the LPL. 

Open archive HAL: https://hal.uca.fr/LPL-AIX/hal-03102987
Journal: https://doi.org/10.1080/21622965.2021.1895790

Marie Vernet, Stéphanie Bellocchi, Laurie Leibnitz, Yves Chaix, Stéphanie Ducrot. Predicting Future Poor Readers from Pre-reading Visual Skills: A Longitudinal Study. Applied Neuropsychology: Child, Taylor & Francis, 2021. ⟨hal-03102987⟩

Abstract in English: https://doi.org/10.1080/21622965.2021.1895790


Photo credits: Petite Production PAG

Dyslexic (or not), how do we activate phonological codes when reading?

Phonological codes play a key role in learning to read. In this article, published in July in the journal Annals of Dyslexia, Ambre Denis-Noël (PhD) and Chotiga Pattamadilok (CNRS researcher) - in collaboration with two colleagues from the LPC Marseille - study the activation of these codes in typical readers and dyslexic readers, by tracing their eye movements when reading.

Ambre Denis-Noel, Chotiga Pattamadilok, Eric Castet, Pascale Colé (2020).
Activation time-course of phonological code in silent word recognition in adult readers with and without dyslexia. Annals of Dyslexia, Springer Verlag. hal-02616440

Link to the full article: https://rdcu.be/b5Qvw
Link to open archive HAL : https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02616440

Photo credits: Pixabay
Last update: July 27, 2020

Reading aid: ALECTOR database available on Huma-Num

The corpus database of the Alector project is now available for consultation on the following website: https://corpusalector.huma-num.fr

It was created as part of the ANR Alector project https://alectorsite.wordpress.com/corpus/ and offers reading assistance mainly for children who are weak readers and have dyslexia.

More information: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02503986

Contact: Núria Gala, project leader (LPL-AMU) https://nuriagala.wordpress.com/

From lip- to script-reading: new ANR contract awarded

The LPL is pleased to announce that the project "From lip- to script-reading: An integrative view of audio-visual associations in language processing" (AVA), submitted by Chotiga Pattamadilok, LPL researcher, was validated in the framework of the last ANR PRC selection.

The early exposure to speech and speakers’ articulatory gestures is the basis of language acquisition and is a fingerprint of audiovisual association learning. Is this initial ability to associate speech sounds and visual inputs a precursor of infants’ reading ability? Answering this question requires a good understanding of the cognitive/neural bases of both language abilities and whether they interact within the language system. Studies comparing task performance and spatio-temporal dynamics of brain activity associated with these abilities will be conducted. At the theoretical level, the outcome should lead to an elaboration of a unified framework explaining how multi-modal inputs jointly contribute to form a coherent language representation. At the practical level, the new perspective of a link between the developmental trajectories of “lip-reading” and “script-reading” should contribute to language learning and facilitate early detection and remediation of reading deficits.

Laboratoire Parole et Langage, Aix-Marseille Univ. (coordinator)
Laboratoire D'Etude des Mécanismes Cognitifs, Univ. Lyon 2
Laboratoire de Psychologie et NeuroCognition, Univ. Grenoble Alpes
SFR Santé Lyon-Est, Univ. Lyon 1