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Habilitation à diriger des recherches

Origines cognitives, cérébrales et génétiques des troubles de l'acquisition du langage

Abstract : The general topic of my research is brain and cognitive
development. Within this topic I am more particularly interested in language acquisition, with a multi-disciplinary approach. The questions lying at the heart of my research are: Which cognitive mechanisms allow the child to learn a language? How do these mechanisms develop in the child's brain? How can the human genome build a brain that has the potential to develop such mechanisms?
I follow several converging approaches in order to attempt to answer these questions. One consists in studying newborns' early perceptual capacities, which are the basis on which all subsequent language acquisition proceeds, and their neural bases as well as their evolutionary origins. Another approach relies on pathology.
My search for a neuropsychological model of language acquisition naturally led me to the study of developmental dyslexia, which currently is my main research topic. After conducting systematic experimental investigations of the different theories of dyslexia, my work continues in two directions. One consists in exploring in great detail the phonological deficit that lies at the core of most cases of dyslexia, by using methods from psycholinguistics,
with the aim to understand how language acquisition mechanisms may develop abnormally in the dyslexic child. The other direction heads resolutely towards biology, in order to understand the cerebral and genetic origins of the phonological deficit. After reviewing the available neurobiological data, I have proposed a model that may explain the etiology of dyslexia and the diversity of cognitive symptoms associated with it as well as with most neuro-developmental disorders. One of my aims is to test this model with genetic and neuroanatomical studies of developmental language disorders (dyslexia and specific language impairment). Beyond this approach relying on pathology, the long-term goal is to shed light on biological processes implicated in the development of neural systems that contribute to language acquisition mechanisms.
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Habilitation à diriger des recherches
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 6, 2008 - 2:17:10 PM
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Franck Ramus. Origines cognitives, cérébrales et génétiques des troubles de l'acquisition du langage. Neurosciences [q-bio.NC]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2006. ⟨tel-00242514⟩

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