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BRAMS – CRBLM Lecture Series: Student Presentation by Camille Gaillard, Alexa Meilleur and Sarah-Maude Coll

Camille Gaillard: Can rhythmic abilities distinguish neurodevelopmental disorders?

Abstract: The majority of people can easily track the beat of simple and complex auditory sequences (e.g., a metronome or music) and move along with it. There is growing evidence that these rhythmic abilities are impaired in children with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as developmental dyslexia or ADHD. Rhythm impairments are shown with a variety of perceptual and sensorimotor measures. However, due to the heterogeneity across measures, it is unclear whether rhythmic difficulties are per se a hallmark of a particular disorder or rather the result of a common cognitive deficit in memory, attention, or executive functions. In this study, to test the possibility that profiles of rhythmic abilities might characterize neurodevelopmental disorders, we analyzed a large sample of children with neurodevelopmental disorders who underwent the same rhythmic tests.  Children (n = 50 with ADHD or dyslexia; n = 40 controls) were tested with the Battery for the Assessment of Auditory Sensorimotor and Timing Abilities (BAASTA), a battery assessing perceptual and sensorimotor timing abilities. We found that rhythm perception does not discriminate ADHD children from dyslexics. In contrast, ADHD children display higher motor variability than children with dyslexia and controls, as well as higher variability in synchronization, especially when ADHD children have DCD (developmental coordination disorder) comorbidity. These differences persist when controlling for children’s general cognitive functioning. These results will pave the way to new methods for identifying different rhythmic profiles in children with neurodevelopmental disorders and for developing individualized rhythm-based interventions.

Short Bio: I am a Psychology Bachelor’s student at the University of Montreal. I have been working at BRAMS since July 2018, and I work under Dr. Simone Dalla Bella’s and Dr. Mélody Blais’ supervision. I am particularly interested in developmental psychology and neurodevelopmental disorders. The focus of the project I have the chance to be part of is to better understand different rhythmic profiles in children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Alexa Meilleur: Sensory temporal processing deficits in autism and dyslexia: A meta-analysis

Abstract: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or developmental dyslexia (DD) are associated with deficits in sensory temporal processing. These deficits can impact higher-order processes, such as social communication in ASD and reading and writing in DD. The present meta-analysis examined two temporal processing tasks in order to answer the following objectives: 1) determine whether temporal processing deficits are a constant feature of ASD and DD across specific task contexts such as modality and stimulus type, 2) investigate the relationship between symptom severity and temporal processing, and 3) examine the effect of age on temporal processing. The results provide strong evidence for impaired temporal processing in both ASD and DD, as measured by judgments of temporal order and simultaneity. In addition to more clearly defining temporal impairments in ASD and DD, the results highlight common and distinct patterns of temporal processing between these disorders. Deficits are discussed in relation to existing theoretical models, and recommendations are made for future research and interventions.

Short Bio: I am a first year Ph.D. student in clinical neuropsychology at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). My research focuses on autism spectrum disorders and restricted interests, under the supervision of Dr. Isabelle Soulières. My previous research, as part of my Master’s under the supervision of Dr. Krista Hyde and Dr. Simona Brambati, Université de Montréal, was aimed at understanding sensory processing in neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism and dyslexia. During my undergraduate studies at McGill University, I also took part in different research projects on social cognition and empathy. My goal is to gain a better understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders and to participate in guiding future neuropsychological interventions.

Sarah-Maude Coll: Sensorimotor skills in autism spectrum disorder: a meta-analysis

Abstract: Sensorimotor skills are often reported as atypical in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but little is known about how these skills vary with development. The main objective of this thesis was to conduct a comprehensive quantitative meta-analysis of sensorimotor skills in ASD. The specific aim was to assess the consistency of atypical gross and fine sensorimotor behaviours in ASD. A total of 139 studies were included. Results strongly support the presence of deficits in overall sensorimotor abilities in ASD (k=127, g=1.25, SE=0.08, p <0.001), extended to both fine (k=81 , g=1.11, SE = 0.09, p <0.001) and gross sensorimotor skills (k=65, g=1.27, SE=0.10, p <0.001). The ultimate mission of this research is to support a theoretical groundwork for future sensorimotor-based interventions (e.g., music and dance) in ASD.

Short Bio: I am a doctoral student in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Montreal supervised by Dr. Elaine de Guise. I did my Bachelor’s degree at Laval University in Quebec City and my Master’s degree with Dr. Krista Hyde and Simona Brambati at the University of Montreal. I am interested in neurodevelopmental disorders and neurocognitive deficits. The focus of my project during my Master’s degree was on the sensory and sensorimotor deficits in an autism population.


Oct 02 2019


3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Local A 103, BRAMS, Pav. Marie-Victorin
90 Vincent-d’Indy Ave.

BRAMS (International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research) is a unique laboratory dedicated to research excellence in the study of music and auditory cognition with a focus on neuroscience. BRAMS is located in Montreal and jointly affiliated with the University of Montreal and McGill University.


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