Alice van de Walle
University of Louvain (UCL)
Tel : +32 10 47
Following years of experience as speech therapist, I developed an interest in fundamental research to better understand developmental dyslexia (D.D.) through a global approach taking into account the differents aspects that characterize this disorder. D.D. manifests itself by such a diversity of symptoms that a diversity of explanatory theories have been advanced: phonological, visuo-attentionnal, magno-cellular, temporal and cerebellar. However, given the lack of consensus expressed by the scientific research concerning the nature of the dysfunctions, D.D. is still currently perceived as a complex and multidimensional entity. This multidimensional is fascinating since it forces us to revise our view concerning the types of skills and the perceptual information integration mechanisms involved in reading acquisition.
Along these lines, I first focused on a new cognitive-motor perspective trying to link the cognitive and motors clinical signs that co-exist in D.D. By using speech therapist and motor imagery behavioral tasks, but also eye-tracking measures, my previous work was based on a theoretical point of view which consider action and perception as two interdependent activities stemming from a common process of multimodal sensorial integration executed by the sensori-motor (or proprioceptive) system.
Currently, the aim of my PhD - co-supervised by Bruno Rossion and Aliette Lochy - is to understand the reading acquisition mechanisms and to develop a diagnostic tool for dyslexia in preschool age by using fast periodic visual stimulation coupled with EEG. By using FPVS-EEG to assess letter discirmination and word knowledge in dyslexics and typical populations, different functions identified by the explanatory theories and different types of rehabilitation, I hope that this project will contribute to both fundamental research and clinical practice in D.D.