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Troubles d'utilisation d'outils et de la cognition numérique après lésions vasculaires cérébrales : deux faces d'une même pièce ?

Abstract : Tool use is a defining feature of the genus Homo. It is therefore fundamental to better understand the cognitive and cerebral bases that allow us to use tools. The current cognitivist models explain tool use through the hypothesis of an activation of gestural memories (i.e., gestural or visuo-kinetic engrams, or sensorimotor knowledge of manipulation; see Rothi, Ochipa, & Heilman, 1991; Buxbaum, 2001). This theory is unable to explain the use of novel tools. An alternative hypothesis suggests that any situation of tool use (familiar and new) requires technical reasoning (e.g., Osiurak & Badets, 2016). This reasoning, involving the left inferior parietal lobe, would enable to formulate the mechanical action and to evaluate the physical properties of tools and objects. One of the aims of this thesis was to better understand the tool use disorders in brain-damaged patients, within the framework of the technical reasoning hypothesis. This work has also focused on the investigation of numerical cognition. By this term we refer to mental arithmetic and math, but also to analogical code (see the Triple Code Model, Dehaene & Cohen, 1995). It corresponds to the representation of numerical quantities, stored in the parietal lobes. In other words, this code would contain the sense of number (Dehaene, 1997) to associate a symbolic label (e.g., Arabic digits) with the corresponding quantity. In everyday life, this representation would be critical to compare or estimate the numerosity of object sets.The main objective of this thesis was to explore, at cognitive and cerebral levels, whether links exist between both fields of interest that are tool use and numerical cognition. Indeed, we noticed that both capacities need a common process of magnitude estimation (i.e., physical properties and numerical quantity). In addition, at the cerebral level, they require the activation of common regions in the parietal lobe. We relied on the Theory Of Magnitude (ATOM) formulated by Walsh (2003). It postulates that all magnitudes, namely the dimensions described by “more than/less than” relationships (e.g., Is this stick long enough to reach a given place?), are processed within a common and unique system, in the right parietal lobe (Bueti & Walsh, 2009). We assumed that the magnitude of physical properties could be processed in this system as well as the discrete (e.g., numbers) and continuous (e.g., time, space) magnitudes. Our results highlighted a disorder of novel tool-use in LBD patients, who nevertheless had no difficulty in estimating physical properties. The RBD patients were impaired in all conditions assessing the numerical cognition, refuting the predictions derived from TCM. They were also impaired in the estimation of the length but not of the weight. As associations between estimation of length and of weight, and between estimation of length and numerical cognition have been observed in the different groups, we suggest that the magnitude system be divided into subsystems. Surprisingly, we found an association between tool use and approximate calculation in LBD patients assuming an attempt to compensate tool use by calculation. Finally, it seems that tool use and numerical cognition rely on distinct neurocognitive mechanisms since the different types of magnitudes might not be processed within a common and unique system of magnitude
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Submitted on : Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 12:37:13 PM
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Alexandrine Faye. Troubles d'utilisation d'outils et de la cognition numérique après lésions vasculaires cérébrales : deux faces d'une même pièce ?. Psychologie. Université de Lyon, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018LYSE2135⟩. ⟨tel-02073929⟩



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