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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 detailThe right hemispheric dominance for faces in preschoolers depends on the visual discrimination level.
Lochy, Aliette UL; Schiltz, Christine UL; Rossion, Bruno

in Developmental Science (2020), 23(3),

The developmental origin of human adults’ right hemispheric dominance in response to face stimuli remains unclear, in particular because young infants’ right hemispheric advantage in face-selective ... [more ▼]

The developmental origin of human adults’ right hemispheric dominance in response to face stimuli remains unclear, in particular because young infants’ right hemispheric advantage in face-selective response is no longer present in preschool children, before written language acquisition. Here we used fast periodic visual stimulation (FPVS) with scalp electroencephalography (EEG) to test 52 preschool children (5.5 years old) at two different levels of face discrimination: discrimination of faces against objects, measuring face-selectivity, or discrimination between individual faces. While the contrast between faces and nonface objects elicits strictly bilateral occipital responses in children, strengthening previous observations, discrimination of individual faces in the same children reveals a strong right hemispheric lateralization over the occipitotemporal cortex. Picture-plane inversion of the face stimuli significantly decreases the individual discrimination response, although to a much smaller extent than in older children and adults tested with the same paradigm. However, there is only a nonsignificant trend for a decrease in right hemispheric lateralization with inversion. There is no relationship between the right hemispheric lateralization in individual face discrimination and preschool levels of readings abilities. The observed difference in the right hemispheric lateralization obtained in the same population of children with two different paradigms measuring neural responses to faces indicates that the level of visual discrimination is a key factor to consider when making inferences about the development of hemispheric lateralization of face perception in the human brain. [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 detailPhysiological correlates of intellectual deficit in children with Sickle Cell Disease: Hypoxaemia, hyperaemia and brain infarction
Hogan, Alexandra M.; Pit-Ten Cate, Ineke UL; Vargha-Khadem, Faraneh et al

in Developmental Science (2006), 9(4), 379-387

Lowered intelligence relative to controls is evident by mid-childhood in children with sickle cell disease. There is consensus that brain infarct contributes to this deficit, but the subtle lowering of IQ ... [more ▼]

Lowered intelligence relative to controls is evident by mid-childhood in children with sickle cell disease. There is consensus that brain infarct contributes to this deficit, but the subtle lowering of IQ in children with normal MRI scans might be accounted for by chronic systemic complications leading to insufficient oxygen delivery to the brain. We investigated the relationship between daytime oxyhaemoglobin saturation (SpO(2)), cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV) and intellectual function (IQ) using path-analysis in 30 adolescents with sickle cell disease (mean age 17.4 years, SD 4.2). Initial analyses revealed that the association between SpO(2) and Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) was fully mediated by increased CBFV, whereby SpO(2) was negatively correlated with CBFV and CBFV was negatively correlated with FSIQ, i.e. decreases in oxygen saturation are associated with increases in velocity, and increased velocity is associated with lowered IQ scores. The mediated relationship suggests that lowered IQ may be a function of abnormal oxygen delivery to the brain. Further analyses showed that the association between CBFV and IQ was significant for verbal but not for performance IQ. The pathophysiology characteristic of SCD can interfere with brain function and constrain intellectual development, even in the absence of an infarct. This supports the hypothesis that lowered intellectual function is partly explained by chronic hypoxia, and has wider implications for our understanding of SCD pathophysiology. [less ▲]

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