CNRS Laboratory of Cognitive Mechanisms

Lyon, France

CNRS Laboratory of Cognitive Mechanisms

Lyon, France
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Roche K.,CNRS Laboratory of Cognitive Mechanisms | Chainay H.,CNRS Laboratory of Cognitive Mechanisms
Visual Cognition | Year: 2013

Priming effects were tested on the planning of the grasping of common objects under full vision during action performance. Healthy participants took part in four experiments which manipulated the nature of the prime (objects, circular block, rectangular bar) and priming context (blocked vs. mixed). Each experiment relied on four priming conditions: (1) congruent orientation, (2) incongruent orientation, (3) neutral prime, and (4) no prime. Priming was observed to have a facilitating effect on visually guided grasping when the object to be grasped was primed by a congruently oriented identical object. This effect was rather independent of the priming context (experimental set-up). Our data suggest an object's functional identity may contribute to the priming effect, as well as its intrinsic (e.g., shape, size) and extrinsic (orientation) visual characteristics. We showed that the planning of visually guided grasping is influenced by prior visual experience, and thus that grasping is not based exclusively on real-time processing of visual information. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.


Osiurak F.,CNRS Laboratory of Cognitive Mechanisms | Jarry C.,University of Angers | Lesourd M.,CNRS Laboratory of Cognitive Mechanisms | Baumard J.,University of Angers | Le Gall D.,University of Angers
Neuropsychologia | Year: 2013

Left brain damage (LBD) can impair the ability to use familiar tools (apraxia of tool use) as well as novel tools to solve mechanical problems. Thus far, the emphasis has been placed on quantitative analyses of patients' performance. Nevertheless, the question still to be answered is, what are the strategies employed by those patients when confronted with tool use situations? To answer it, we asked 16 LBD patients and 43 healthy controls to solve mechanical problems by means of several potential tools. To specify the strategies, we recorded the time spent in performing four kinds of action (no manipulation, tool manipulation, box manipulation, and tool-box manipulation) as well as the number of relevant and irrelevant tools grasped. We compared LBD patients' performance with that of controls who encountered difficulties with the task (controls-) or not (controls+). Our results indicated that LBD patients grasped a higher number of irrelevant tools than controls+ and controls.- Concerning time allocation, controls+ and controls- spent significantly more time in performing tool-box manipulation than LBD patients. These results are inconsistent with the possibility that LBD patients could engage in trial-and-error strategies and, rather, suggest that they tend to be perplexed. These findings seem to indicate that the inability to reason about the objects' physical properties might prevent LBD patients from following any problem-solving strategy. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Grainger J.,Aix - Marseille University | Lete B.,CNRS Laboratory of Cognitive Mechanisms | Bertand D.,Aix - Marseille University | Dufau S.,Aix - Marseille University | Ziegler J.C.,Aix - Marseille University
Cognition | Year: 2012

We describe a multiple-route model of reading development in which coarse-grained orthographic processing plays a key role in optimizing access to semantics via whole-word orthographic representations. This forms part of the direct orthographic route that gradually replaces phonological recoding during the initial phases of reading acquisition. The model predicts distinct developmental trajectories for pseudo-homophone and transposed-letter effects - two benchmark phenomena associated with phonological recoding and coarse-grained orthographic processing, respectively. Pseudo-homophone effects should decrease over the first years of reading acquisition, whereas transposed-letter effects should initially increase. These predictions were tested in a lexical decision task with 334 children in grades 1-5, and 29 skilled adult readers. In line with the predictions, we found that the pseudo-homophone effect diminished as reading level increased, whereas the transposed-letter effect first increased and then diminished. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Osiurak F.,CNRS Laboratory of Cognitive Mechanisms | Jarry C.,University of Angers | Le Gall D.,University of Angers
Neuropsychologia | Year: 2011

In everyday life, we are led to reuse the same tools (e.g., fork, hammer, coffee-maker), raising the question as to whether we have to systematically recreate the idea of the manipulation which is associated with these tools. The gesture engram hypothesis offers a straightforward answer to this issue, by suggesting that activation of gesture engrams provides a processing advantage, avoiding portions of the process from being reconstructed de novo with each experience. At first glance, the gesture engram hypothesis appears very plausible. But, behind this beguiling simplicity lies a set of unresolved difficulties: (1) What is the evidence in favour of the idea that the mere observation of a tool is sufficient to activate the corresponding gesture engram? (2) If tool use can be supported by a direct route between a structural description system and gesture engrams, what is the role of knowledge about tool function? (3) And, more importantly, what does it mean to store knowledge about how to manipulate tools? We begin by outlining some of the main formulations of the gesture engram hypothesis. Then, we address each of these issues in more detail. To anticipate our discussion, the gesture engram hypothesis appears to be clearly unsatisfactory, notably because of its incapacity to offer convincing answers to these different issues. We conclude by arguing that neuropsychology may greatly benefit from adopting the hypothesis that the idea of how to manipulate a tool is recreated de novo with each experience, thus opening interesting perspectives for future research on apraxia. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Gerbier E.,CNRS Laboratory of Cognitive Mechanisms | Toppino T.C.,Villanova University
Trends in Neuroscience and Education | Year: 2015

Education ideally should induce learning that lasts for years and more. A wealth of research indicates that, to achieve long-lasting retention, information must be practiced and/or tested repeatedly, with repeated practice well distributed over time. In this paper we discuss the behavioral, neuroimaging and neurophysiological findings related to the effect of distributed practice and testing as well as the resulting theoretical accounts. Distributed practice and testing appear to be powerful learning tools. We consider implications of these learning principles for educational practice. © 2015 Elsevier GmbH.


Badets A.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Osiurak F.,CNRS Laboratory of Cognitive Mechanisms | Osiurak F.,Institut Universitaire de France
Experimental Brain Research | Year: 2017

The present theoretical framework highlights a common action–perception mechanism for tool use, spoken language, and foresight capacity. On the one hand, it has been suggested that human language and the capacity to envision the future (i.e. foresight) have, from an evolutionary viewpoint, developed mutually along with the pressure of tool use. This co-evolution has afforded humans an evident survival advantage in the animal kingdom because language can help to refine the representation of future scenarios, which in turn can help to encourage or discourage engagement in appropriate and efficient behaviours. On the other hand, recent assumptions regarding the evolution of the brain have capitalized on the concept of “neuronal recycling”. In the domain of cognitive neuroscience, neuronal recycling means that during evolution, some neuronal areas and cognitive functions have been recycled to manage new environmental and social constraints. In the present article, we propose that the co-evolution of tool use, language, and foresight represents a suitable example of such functional recycling throughout a well-defined common action–perception mechanism, i.e. the ideomotor mechanism. This ideomotor account is discussed in light of different future ontogenetic and phylogenetic perspectives. © 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Osiurak F.,CNRS Laboratory of Cognitive Mechanisms
Cognition | Year: 2014

Tool-use representations have been suggested to be supported by the representation of hand actions and/or by the representation of tool actions. A major issue is to know which one of these two representations is preferentially activated when people intend to use a tool. To address this issue, we developed a paradigm in which, in 20% of trials, participants had to press a button and actually use pliers to move an object in response to a predefined target symbol. Importantly, two masks hiding the symbols performed "opening" or "closing" actions before symbols appeared. In Experiment 1, participants used normal pliers: Hand's opening actions induced pliers' opening actions and vice versa for hands' closing actions. Results indicated a compatibility effect between masks' actions and pliers' actions. Participants were faster to press the button in response to the target symbol when opening and closing actions of the masks were congruent with the corresponding actions of the hand. In Experiment 2 participants used inverse pliers: Hand's opening actions involved pliers' closing actions and vice versa. In this situation, results showed that the congruency of masks' actions occurred with pliers' actions and not hand's actions. Altogether, these findings demonstrate that intention of use is preferentially based on the representation of tool actions, and have important implications for the domain of neuropsychology of tool use and the theories of goal-directed behavior. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Mars F.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Navarro J.,CNRS Laboratory of Cognitive Mechanisms
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Current theories on the role of visuomotor coordination in driving agree that active sampling of the road by the driver informs the arm-motor system in charge of performing actions on the steering wheel. Still under debate, however, is the nature of visual cues and gaze strategies used by drivers. In particular, the tangent point hypothesis, which states that drivers look at a specific point on the inside edge line, has recently become the object of controversy. An alternative hypothesis proposes that drivers orient gaze toward the desired future path, which happens to be often situated in the vicinity of the tangent point. The present study contributed to this debate through the analyses of the distribution of gaze orientation with respect to the tangent point. The results revealed that drivers sampled the roadway in the close vicinity of the tangent point rather than the tangent point proper. This supports the idea that drivers look at the boundary of a safe trajectory envelop near the inside edge line. Furthermore, the study investigated for the first time the reciprocal influence of manual control on gaze control in the context of driving. This was achieved through the comparison of gaze behavior when drivers actively steered the vehicle or when steering was performed by an automatic controller. The results showed an increase in look-ahead fixations in the direction of the bend exit and a small but consistent reduction in the time spent looking in the area of the tangent point when steering was passive. This may be the consequence of a change in the balance between cognitive and sensorimotor anticipatory gaze strategies. It might also reflect bidirectional coordination control between the eye and arm-motor systems, which goes beyond the common assumption that the eyes lead the hands when driving. © 2012 Mars, Navarro.


Girard C.,CNRS Laboratory of Cognitive Mechanisms | Ecalle J.,CNRS Laboratory of Cognitive Mechanisms | Magnan A.,Institut Universitaire de France
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning | Year: 2013

Computer-assisted learning is known to be an effective tool for improving learning in both adults and children. Recent years have seen the emergence of the so-called 'serious games (SGs)' that are flooding the educational games market. In this paper, the term 'serious games' is used to refer to video games (VGs) intended to serve a useful purpose. The objective was to review the results of experimental studies designed to examine the effectiveness of VGs and SGs on players' learning and engagement. After pointing out the varied nature of the obtained results and the impossibility of reaching any reliable conclusion concerning the effectiveness of VGs and SGs in learning, we stress the limitations of the existing literature and make a number of suggestions for future studies. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Mizzi R.,CNRS Laboratory of Cognitive Mechanisms | Michael G.A.,CNRS Laboratory of Cognitive Mechanisms
Behavioural Brain Research | Year: 2014

Visual attention has been shown to progress from the most to the least salient item in a given scene. Cognitive and physiological models assume that this orienting of covert attention relies on the collicular pathway, involving the superior colliculus and the pulvinar. Recent studies questioned this statement as they described attentional capture by visual items invisible to the superior colliculus. Electrophysiological studies shown that there is no direct projections from short-wave receptors to the superior colliculus. S-cone stimuli can thus be employed to assess visual processing without the involvement of the collicular pathway. We have attempted to investigate whether this pathway is involved in the salience-based orientation of attention by presenting S-cone stimuli. Volunteers were asked to make a judgment regarding a target among two distractors (all items of unequal sizes). Items' location and size varied randomly, as well as color, randomly black or calibrated for each subject to activate exclusively S-cones. The hierarchical pattern testifying of the salience-based orientation of attention was only found with black stimuli, arguing in favor of an implication of the collicular pathway in salience. In a second experiment, one item was presented at a time in order to test the item-multiplicity effect by comparing experiments. Performance was the most penalized when presenting multiple stimuli in the black condition. Results were interpreted in terms of distinct modes of processing by the collicular and geniculate pathways. The establishment of salience that determines attentional progression appeared to be only possible when the collicular pathway was solicited. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

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