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Archives de pédiatrie
Volume 14, n° 3
pages 279-284 (mars 2007)
Doi : 10.1016/j.arcped.2006.10.011
Received : 16 June 2006 ;  accepted : 11 October 2006
Locomotion autonome et cognition spatiale: le paradoxe de l'amyotrophie spinale infantile
Self-produced locomotion and spatial cognition: a new light from spinal muscular atrophy
 

J. Rivière
Laboratoire psychologie et neurosciences de la cognition, université de Rouen, 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan, France 

Auteur correspondant.
Résumé

Différents travaux montrent chez les nourrissons une corrélation entre l'accès au déplacement autonome et la résolution d'épreuves de recherche manuelle d'objets cachés. Ces données expérimentales conduisent certains auteurs à considérer la locomotion active et autonome comme un important organisateur du développement de la cognition spatiale. Or, de récentes études menées auprès de jeunes enfants atteints d'amyotrophie spinale infantile de type II, une pathologie neuromusculaire qui entraîne un handicap moteur sévère empêchant l'accès à la locomotion autonome, mettent en évidence d'excellentes performances dans des situations de recherche d'objets cachés sollicitant un repérage dans l'espace ainsi que dans l'acquisition du vocabulaire spatial. Ces résultats suggèrent que la déficience locomotrice ne constitue pas un facteur de risque majeur de retards développementaux dans l'intégration des relations spatiales. Les performances spatiales de ces enfants souffrant d'une privation totale d'expérience locomotrice traduisent la complexité des relations qui unissent la motricité et la cognition.

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Abstract

Various studies have shown that occurrence of locomotion in infancy is correlated with the development of visuospatial cognitive competencies, suggesting that locomotor experience might play a central role in spatial development, especially in the realm of manual search for hidden objects. However, recent studies indicate that young children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a hereditary neuromuscular disease which results in severe motor impairments, excel in some spatial cognitive skills. Indeed, striking cognitive performances are exhibited by young SMA children in some areas such as the ability to search successfully for hidden objects and the acquisition of the spatial vocabulary. The performances of SMA children suggest that, despite their total deprivation of locomotor experience, they have the capacity to acquire and use rich spatial representations. As a result, locomotor impairment does not appear to be a key risk factor for dramatic slowing down or deviation in the development of spatial search skills.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

Mots clés : Amyotrophie spinale infantile, Handicap moteur, Développement cognitif

Keywords : Spinal muscular atrophy, Psychomotor impairment, Development, Cognition, Child




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