Raisonnement fluide chez les enfants sur le spectre de l'autisme : développement et mécanismes cérébraux


Eliane Danis

Université du Québec à Montréal [UQAM]


Domaine : Neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme : Formation de doctorat

Concours 2017-2018


Fondation des Étoiles

Fluid reasoning is a high-level cognitive process that allows to logically solve novel problems. In typically developing (TD) individuals, fluid reasoning relies on a frontoparietal neuronal network (Ferrer et al., 2009). However, for individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), visual areas of the brain are overactive while frontal areas are underactive comparing to those of TD individuals during this type of reasoning (Soulières et al., 2009). Moreover, ASD individuals are known for their atypical perceptual and visuospatial strengths, which are more strongly associated to their fluid reasoning abilities than for TD individuals (Dawson et al., 2007). This suggests differences in fluid reasoning development of ASD and TD children.

Thirty ASD and 30 TD children aged between 8 and 14 years-old and matched in sex, age and intellectual quotient will complete a computerized reasoning task of varied content (Semantic or Visuospatial) and increased complexity (0-relation, 1-relation  and 2-relations) while in a functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. They will also be assessed with a neuropsychological tests battery to investigate how some cognitive abilities influence fluid reasoning development in both groups. Results will allow the improvement of teaching methods in accordance with the reasoning strategies used by the children of each groups to optimize their cognitive potential.