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See detailDevelopmental changes in neural letter-selectivity: A 1-year follow-up of beginning readers
van de Walle de Ghelcke, Alice; Rossion, Bruno; Schiltz, Christine UL et al

in Developmental science (2021), 24(1), 12999

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See detailImpact of learning to read in a mixed approach on neural tuning to words in beginning readers
van de Walle de Ghelcke, Alice; Rossion, Bruno; Schiltz, Christine UL et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2020), 10

The impact of learning to read in a mixed approach using both the global and phonics teaching methods on the emergence of left hemisphere neural specialization for word recognition is yet unknown in ... [more ▼]

The impact of learning to read in a mixed approach using both the global and phonics teaching methods on the emergence of left hemisphere neural specialization for word recognition is yet unknown in children. Taking advantage of a natural school context with such a mixed approach, we tested 42 first graders behaviorally and with Fast Periodic Visual Stimulation using electroencephalographic recordings (FPVS-EEG) to measure selective neural responses to letter strings. Letter strings were inserted periodically (1/5) in pseudofonts in 40 s sequences displayed at 6 Hz and were either words globally taught at school, that could therefore be processed by visual whole-word form recognition (global method), or control words/pseudowords eliciting graphemephoneme (GP) mappings (phonics method). Results show that selective responses (F/5, 1.2 Hz) were left lateralized for control stimuli that triggered GP mappings but bilateral for globally taught words. It implies that neural mechanisms recruited during visual word processing are influenced by the nature of the mapping between written and spoken word forms. GP mappings induce left hemisphere discrimination responses, and visual recognition of whole-word forms induce bilateral responses, probably because the right hemisphere is relatively more involved in holistic visual object recognition. Splitting the group as a function of the mastery of GP mappings into “good” and “poor” readers strongly suggests that good readers actually processed all stimuli (including global words) predominantly with their left hemisphere, while poor readers showed bilateral responses for global words. These results show that in a mixed approach of teaching to read, global method instruction may induce neural processes that differ from those specialized for reading in the left hemisphere. Furthermore, given their difficulties in automatizing GP mappings, poor readers are especially prone to rely on this alternative visual strategy. A preprint of this paper has been released on Biorxiv (van de Walle de Ghelcke et al., 2018). [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopmental changes in neural letter-selectivity: A 1-year follow-up of beginning readers.
van de Walle de Ghelcke, Alice; Rossion, Bruno; Schiltz, Christine UL et al

in Developmental science (2020)

The developmental course of neural tuning to visual letter strings is unclear. Here we tested 39 children longitudinally, at the beginning of grade 1 (6.45 ± 0.33 years old) and 1 year after, with fast ... [more ▼]

The developmental course of neural tuning to visual letter strings is unclear. Here we tested 39 children longitudinally, at the beginning of grade 1 (6.45 ± 0.33 years old) and 1 year after, with fast periodic visual stimulation in electroencephalography to assess the evolution of selective neural responses to letter strings and their relationship with emerging reading abilities. At both grades, frequency-tagged letter strings were discriminated from pseudofont strings (i.e. letter-selectivity) over the left occipito-temporal cortex, with effects observed at the individual level in 62% of children. However, visual words were not discriminated from pseudowords (lexical access) at either grade. Following 1 year of schooling, letter-selective responses showed a specific increase in amplitude, a more complex pattern of harmonics, and were located more anteriorly over the left occipito-temporal cortex. Remarkably, at both grades, neural responses were highly significant at the individual level and correlated with individual reading scores. The amplitude increase in letter-selective responses between grades was not found for discrimination responses of familiar keyboard symbols from pseudosymbols, and was not related to a general increase in visual stimulation responses. These findings demonstrate a rapid onset of left hemispheric letter selectivity, with 1 year of reading instruction resulting in increased emerging reading abilities and a clear quantitative and qualitative evolution within left hemispheric neural circuits for reading. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact of teaching methods for reading on neural tuning to words in young poor readers
Lochy, Aliette UL; van de Walle de Ghelcke, Alice; Schiltz, Christine UL

Poster (2019, September)

The impact of teaching methods on the left hemispheric (LH) specialization for reading in children remains unknown. We tested 42 first graders (mean age: 6.08 years) from schools using both a phonic and a ... [more ▼]

The impact of teaching methods on the left hemispheric (LH) specialization for reading in children remains unknown. We tested 42 first graders (mean age: 6.08 years) from schools using both a phonic and a global method in parallel, behaviorally and with Fast Periodic Visual Stimulation using electroencephalography. 40-sec strings of pseudofonts were displayed at 6Hz, in which were periodically displayed (1.2Hz) either words taught at school with whole-word form rote-learning (global method) or control pseudowords eliciting grapheme-phoneme mappings (phonic method). Control pseudowords elicited LH responses whatever the reading ability. For global words, a difference emerged as a function of group: in good and average readers, responses were stronger in the LH, while in poor readers, global words elicited an atypical bilateral neural pattern due to reduced response amplitude in the LH. These results suggest that difficulties in automatizing GP mappings induce reliance on an alternative visual strategy when available. [less ▲]

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