Jean-François Démonet

University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland

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Publications (89)431.13 Total impact

  • Mélanie Sandoz, Jean-François Démonet, Marion Fossard
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Theory of mind (ToM) performance in aging and dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) has been a growing interest of researchers and recently, theoretical trends in ToM development have led to a focus on determining the cognitive skills involved in ToM performance. The aim of the present review is to answer three main questions: How is ToM assessed in aging and DAT? How does ToM performance evolve in aging and DAT? Do cognitive processes influence ToM performance in aging and DAT? Method: A systematic review was conducted to provide a targeted overview of recent studies relating ToM performance with cognitive processes in aging and DAT. Results: Results suggest a decrease in ToM performance, more pronounced in complex ToM tasks. Moreover, the review points up the strong involvement of executive functions, especially inhibition, and reasoning skills in ToM task achievement. Conclusion: Current data suggest that the structure of ToM tasks itself could lead to poor performance, especially in populations with reduced cognitive abilities.
    Aging and Mental Health 04/2014; · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Huntington's disease is a rare condition. Patients are commonly treated with antipsychotics and tetrabenazine. The evidence of their effect on disease progression is limited and no comparative study between these drugs has been conducted. We therefore compared the effectiveness of antipsychotics on disease progression. Methods: 956 patients from the Huntington French Speaking Group were followed for up to 8 years between 2002 and 2010. The effectiveness of treatments was assessed using Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) scores and then compared using a mixed model adjusted on a multiple propensity score. Results: 63% of patients were treated with antipsychotics during the survey period. The most commonly prescribed medications were dibenzodiazepines (38%), risperidone (13%), tetrabenazine (12%) and benzamides (12%). There was no difference between treatments on the motor and behavioural declines observed, after taking the patient profiles at the start of the drug prescription into account. In contrast, the functional decline was lower in the dibenzodiazepine group than the other antipsychotic groups (Total Functional Capacity: 0.41±0.17 units per year vs. risperidone and 0.54±0.19 vs. tetrabenazine, both p<0.05). Benzamides were less effective than other antipsychotics on cognitive evolution (Stroop interference, Stroop color and Literal fluency: p<0.05). Conclusions: Antipsychotics are widely used to treat patients with Huntington's disease. Although differences in motor or behavioural profiles between patients according to the antipsychotics used were small, there were differences in drug effectiveness on the evolution of functional and cognitive scores.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e85430. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    Learning and Instruction 01/2014; · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cortical electrical stimulation mapping was used to study neural substrates of the function of writing in the temporoparietal cortex. We identified the sites involved in oral language (sentence reading and naming) and writing from dictation, in order to spare these areas during removal of brain tumours in 30 patients (23 in the left, and 7 in the right hemisphere). Electrostimulation of the cortex impaired writing ability in 62 restricted cortical areas (.25 cm(2)). These were found in left temporoparietal lobes and were mostly located along the superior temporal gyrus (Brodmann's areas 22 and 42). Stimulation of right temporoparietal lobes in right-handed patients produced no writing impairments. However there was a high variability of location between individuals. Stimulation resulted in combined symptoms (affecting oral language and writing) in fourteen patients, whereas in eight other patients, stimulation-induced pure agraphia symptoms with no oral language disturbance in twelve of the identified areas. Each detected area affected writing in a different way. We detected the various different stages of the auditory-to-motor pathway of writing from dictation: either through comprehension of the dictated sentences (word deafness areas), lexico-semantic retrieval, or phonologic processing. In group analysis, barycentres of all different types of writing interferences reveal a hierarchical functional organization along the superior temporal gyrus from initial word recognition to lexico-semantic and phonologic processes along the ventral and the dorsal comprehension pathways, supporting the previously described auditory-to-motor process. The left posterior Sylvian region supports different aspects of writing function that are extremely specialized and localized, sometimes being segregated in a way that could account for the occurrence of pure agraphia that has long-been described in cases of damage to this region.
    Cortex 10/2013; · 6.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Modern cochlear implantation technologies allow deaf patients to understand auditory speech; however, the implants deliver only a coarse auditory input and patients must use long-term adaptive processes to achieve coherent percepts. In adults with post-lingual deafness, the high progress of speech recovery is observed during the first year after cochlear implantation, but there is a large range of variability in the level of cochlear implant outcomes and the temporal evolution of recovery. It has been proposed that when profoundly deaf subjects receive a cochlear implant, the visual cross-modal reorganization of the brain is deleterious for auditory speech recovery. We tested this hypothesis in post-lingually deaf adults by analysing whether brain activity shortly after implantation correlated with the level of auditory recovery 6 months later. Based on brain activity induced by a speech-processing task, we found strong positive correlations in areas outside the auditory cortex. The highest positive correlations were found in the occipital cortex involved in visual processing, as well as in the posterior-temporal cortex known for audio-visual integration. The other area, which positively correlated with auditory speech recovery, was localized in the left inferior frontal area known for speech processing. Our results demonstrate that the visual modality's functional level is related to the proficiency level of auditory recovery. Based on the positive correlation of visual activity with auditory speech recovery, we suggest that visual modality may facilitate the perception of the word's auditory counterpart in communicative situations. The link demonstrated between visual activity and auditory speech perception indicates that visuoauditory synergy is crucial for cross-modal plasticity and fostering speech-comprehension recovery in adult cochlear-implanted deaf patients.
    Brain 10/2013; · 9.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent theory of physiology of language suggests a dual stream dorsal/ventral organization of speech perception. Using intra-cerebral Event-related potentials (ERPs) during pre-surgical assessment of twelve drug-resistant epileptic patients, we aimed to single out electrophysiological patterns during both lexical-semantic and phonological monitoring tasks involving ventral and dorsal regions respectively. Phonological information processing predominantly occurred in the left supra-marginal gyrus (dorsal stream) and lexico-semantic information occurred in anterior/middle temporal and fusiform gyri (ventral stream). Similar latencies were identified in response to phonological and lexico-semantic tasks, suggesting parallel processing. Typical ERP components were strongly left lateralized since no evoked responses were recorded in homologous right structures. Finally, ERP patterns suggested the inferior frontal gyrus as the likely final common pathway of both dorsal and ventral streams. These results brought out detailed evidence of the spatial-temporal information processing in the dual pathways involved in speech perception.
    Brain and Language 09/2013; · 3.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mismatch negativity (MMN) overlaps with other auditory event-related potential (ERP) components. We examined the ERPs of 50 9- to 11-year-old children for vowels /i/, /y/ and equivalent complex tones. The goal was to separate MMN from obligatory ERP components using principal component analysis and equal probability control condition. In addition to the contrast of the deviant minus standard response, we employed the contrast of the deviant minus control response, to see whether the obligatory processing contributes to MMN in children. When looking for differences in speech deviant minus standard contrast, MMN starts around 112 ms. However, when both contrasts are examined, MMN emerges for speech at 160 ms whereas for nonspeech MMN is observed at 112 ms regardless of contrast. We argue that this discriminative response to speech stimuli at 112 ms is obligatory in nature rather than reflecting change detection processing.
    Psychophysiology 07/2013; 50(7):640–652. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Handwriting is a modality of language production whose cerebral substrates remain poorly known although the existence of specific regions is postulated. The description of brain damaged patients with agraphia and, more recently, several neuroimaging studies suggest the involvement of different brain regions. However, results vary with the methodological choices made and may not always discriminate between "writing-specific" and motor or linguistic processes shared with other abilities. We used the "Activation Likelihood Estimate" (ALE) meta-analytical method to identify the cerebral network of areas commonly activated during handwriting in 18 neuroimaging studies published in the literature. Included contrasts were also classified according to the control tasks used, whether non-specific motor/output-control or linguistic/input-control. These data were included in two secondary meta-analyses in order to reveal the functional role of the different areas of this network. An extensive, mainly left-hemisphere network of 12 cortical and sub-cortical areas was obtained; three of which were considered as primarily writing-specific (left superior frontal sulcus/middle frontal gyrus area, left intraparietal sulcus/superior parietal area, right cerebellum) while others related rather to non-specific motor (primary motor and sensorimotor cortex, supplementary motor area, thalamus and putamen) or linguistic processes (ventral premotor cortex, posterior/inferior temporal cortex). This meta-analysis provides a description of the cerebral network of handwriting as revealed by various types of neuroimaging experiments and confirms the crucial involvement of the left frontal and superior parietal regions. These findings provide new insights into cognitive processes involved in handwriting and their cerebral substrates.
    Cortex 06/2013; · 6.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The current state of empirical investigations refers to consciousness as an all-or-none phenomenon. However, a recent theoretical account opens up this perspective by proposing a partial level (between nil and full) of conscious perception. In the well-studied case of single-word reading, short-lived exposure can trigger incomplete word-form recognition wherein letters fall short of forming a whole word in one's conscious perception thereby hindering word-meaning access and report. Hence, the processing from incomplete to complete word-form recognition straightforwardly mirrors a transition from partial to full-blown consciousness. We therefore hypothesized that this putative functional bottleneck to consciousness (i.e. the perceptual boundary between partial and full conscious perception) would emerge at a major key hub region for word-form recognition during reading, namely the left occipito-temporal junction. We applied a real-time staircase procedure and titrated subjective reports at the threshold between partial (letters) and full (whole word) conscious perception. This experimental approach allowed us to collect trials with identical physical stimulation, yet reflecting distinct perceptual experience levels. Oscillatory brain activity was monitored with magnetoencephalography and revealed that the transition from partial-to-full word-form perception was accompanied by alpha-band (7-11 Hz) power suppression in the posterior left occipito-temporal cortex. This modulation of rhythmic activity extended anteriorly towards the visual word form area (VWFA), a region whose selectivity for word-forms in perception is highly debated. The current findings provide electrophysiological evidence for a functional bottleneck to consciousness thereby empirically instantiating a recently proposed partial perspective on consciousness. Moreover, the findings provide an entirely new outlook on the functioning of the VWFA as a late bottleneck to full-blown conscious word-form perception.
    NeuroImage 04/2013; · 6.25 Impact Factor
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    Caroline Reilhac, Carole Peyrin, Jean-François Démonet, Sylviane Valdois
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    ABSTRACT: Traditionally, the ventral occipito-temporal (vOT) area, but not the superior parietal lobules (SPLs), is thought as belonging to the neural system of visual word recognition. However, some dyslexic children who exhibit a visual attention span disorder – i.e. poor multi-element parallel processing – further show reduced SPLs activation when engaged in visual multi-element categorization tasks. We investigated whether these parietal regions further contribute to letter-identity processing within strings. Adult skilled readers and dyslexic participants with a visual attention span disorder were administered a letter-string comparison task under fMRI. Dyslexic adults were less accurate than skilled readers to detect letter identity substitutions within strings. In skilled readers, letter identity differs related to enhanced activation of the left vOT. However, specific neural responses were further found in the superior and inferior parietal regions, including the SPLs bilaterally. Two brain regions that are specifically related to substituted letter detection, the left SPL and the left vOT, were less activated in dyslexic participants. These findings suggest that the left SPL, like the left vOT, may contribute to letter string processing.
    Neuropsychologia 03/2013; 51(4):601–612. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the case study of a French–Spanish bilingual dyslexic girl, MP, who exhibited a severe visual attention (VA) span deficit but preserved phonological skills. Behavioural investigation showed a severe reduction of reading speed for both single items (words and pseudo-words) and texts in the two languages. However, performance was more affected in French than in Spanish. MP was administered an intensive VA span intervention programme. Pre–post intervention comparison revealed a positive effect of intervention on her VA span abilities. The intervention further transferred to reading. It primarily resulted in faster identification of the regular and irregular words in French. The effect of intervention was rather modest in Spanish that only showed a tendency for faster word reading. Text reading improved in the two languages with a stronger effect in French but pseudo-word reading did not improve in either French or Spanish. The overall results suggest that VA span intervention may primarily enhance the fast global reading procedure, with stronger effects in French than in Spanish. MP underwent two fMRI sessions to explore her brain activations before and after VA span training. Prior to the intervention, fMRI assessment showed that the striate and extrastriate visual cortices alone were activated but none of the regions typically involved in VA span. Post-training fMRI revealed increased activation of the superior and inferior parietal cortices. Comparison of pre- and post-training activations revealed significant activation increase of the superior parietal lobes (BA 7) bilaterally. Thus, we show that a specific VA span intervention not only modulates reading performance but further results in increased brain activity within the superior parietal lobes known to housing VA span abilities. Furthermore, positive effects of VA span intervention on reading suggest that the ability to process multiple visual elements simultaneously is one cause of successful reading acquisition.
    Cortex 01/2013; · 6.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background:  The relationship between phoneme awareness, rapid automatized naming (RAN), verbal short-term/working memory (ST/WM) and diagnostic category is investigated in control and dyslexic children, and the extent to which this depends on orthographic complexity. Methods:  General cognitive, phonological and literacy skills were tested in 1,138 control and 1,114 dyslexic children speaking six different languages spanning a large range of orthographic complexity (Finnish, Hungarian, German, Dutch, French, English). Results:  Phoneme deletion and RAN were strong concurrent predictors of developmental dyslexia, while verbal ST/WM and general verbal abilities played a comparatively minor role. In logistic regression models, more participants were classified correctly when orthography was more complex. The impact of phoneme deletion and RAN-digits was stronger in complex than in less complex orthographies. Conclusions:  Findings are largely consistent with the literature on predictors of dyslexia and literacy skills, while uniquely demonstrating how orthographic complexity exacerbates some symptoms of dyslexia.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 12/2012; · 5.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we report a case study of a 31-year-old multilingual female (LK) who presented with a left prefrontal brain tumour (WHO grade II glioma). LK is a late trilingual person whose first language is German. She had been learning English and French for 10 years when she moved to France at the age of 20 and now mostly uses French. German (L1) and French (L3) were assessed using a selection of sub-tests taken from the MT 86, the French version of the BDAE, the ECOSSE, the MEC, the German BAT, and, a non-standardized German adaptation of parts of the MEC. Preoperatively, LK had no language deficit. She was operated on under awake craniotomy, and both languages were mapped. Direct intraoperative electrical stimulation mapping showed that i) L1 and L3 were represented by both distinct and overlapping areas within the left (dominant) inferior frontal cortex, but shared the same subcortical tracts, and ii) the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was engaged when switching from one language to another. Since surgery, the patient has been followed longitudinally, with six-monthly assessments of her language skills using the same test battery. Her L1 and L3 language skills have been intact for 24 months postoperatively. After presenting the behavioural and brain mapping data, we discuss their relevance with respect to the organization of language skills within the frontal cortex and deep frontal structures.
    Journal of Neurolinguistics 11/2012; 25:567-578. · 1.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The production of object and action words can be dissociated in aphasics, yet their anatomical correlates have been difficult to distinguish in functional imaging studies. To investigate the extent to which the cortical neural networks underlying object- and action-naming processing overlap, we performed electrostimulation mapping (ESM), which is a neurosurgical mapping technique routinely used to examine language function during brain-tumor resections. Forty-one right-handed patients who had surgery for a brain tumor were asked to perform overt naming of object and action pictures under stimulation. Overall, 73 out of the 633 stimulated cortical sites (11.5%) were associated with stimulation-induced language interferences. These interference sites were very much localized (<1 cm(2) ), and showed substantial variability across individuals in their exact localization. Stimulation interfered with both object and action naming over 44 sites, whereas it specifically interfered with object naming over 19 sites and with action naming over 10 sites. Specific object-naming sites were mainly identified in Broca's area (Brodmann area 44/45) and the temporal cortex, whereas action-naming specific sites were mainly identified in the posterior midfrontal gyrus (Brodmann area 6/9) and Broca's area (P = 0.003 by the Fisher's exact test). The anatomical loci we emphasized are in line with a cortical distinction between objects and actions based on conceptual/semantic features, so the prefrontal/premotor cortex would preferentially support sensorimotor contingencies associated with actions, whereas the temporal cortex would preferentially underpin (functional) properties of objects. Hum Brain Mapp, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Human Brain Mapping 09/2012; · 6.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the case of a 37-year-old man suffering from insidious visual agnosia and spastic paraparesis due to a PSEN1 mutation. His mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer disease after a biopsy. He was assessed by multimodal neuroimaging, including new in vivo positron emission tomography amyloid imaging (F-AV45). His data were compared with those from healthy participants and patients with sporadic predemential Alzheimer disease. He exhibited posterior cortical thickness reduction, posterior hypometabolism, and increased amyloid ligand uptake in the posterior cortex and the striatum. We show that F-AV45 positron emission tomography allows visualization of the unusual pattern of amyloid deposits that co-localize with cortical atrophy in this genetic form of Alzheimer disease.
    Alzheimer disease and associated disorders 04/2012; · 2.88 Impact Factor
  • Jean-François Démonet, Samuel Planton
    Revue Française de Linguistique Appliquée 01/2012; 17(2):9-18. · 0.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ability to identify letters and encode their position is a crucial step of the word recognition process. However and despite their word identification problem, the ability of dyslexic children to encode letter identity and letter-position within strings was not systematically investigated. This study aimed at filling this gap and further explored how letter identity and letter-position encoding is modulated by letter context in developmental dyslexia. For this purpose, a letter-string comparison task was administered to French dyslexic children and two chronological age (CA) and reading age (RA)-matched control groups. Children had to judge whether two successively and briefly presented four-letter strings were identical or different. Letter-position and letter identity were manipulated through the transposition (e.g., RTGM vs. RMGT) or substitution of two letters (e.g., TSHF vs. TGHD). Non-words, pseudo-words, and words were used as stimuli to investigate sub-lexical and lexical effects on letter encoding. Dyslexic children showed both substitution and transposition detection problems relative to CA-controls. A substitution advantage over transpositions was only found for words in dyslexic children whereas it extended to pseudo-words in RA-controls and to all type of items in CA-controls. Letters were better identified in the dyslexic group when belonging to orthographically familiar strings. Letter-position encoding was very impaired in dyslexic children who did not show any word context effect in contrast to CA-controls. Overall, the current findings point to a strong letter identity and letter-position encoding disorder in developmental dyslexia.
    Frontiers in Psychology 01/2012; 3:154.
  • Samuel Planton, Jean-François Démonet
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    ABSTRACT: La recherche sur l’anatomie des fonctions du langage a connu un extraordinaire essor dans les vingt dernières années, avec le développement de techniques de neuro-imagerie permettant d’observer l’activité du cerveau engagé dans une tâche. Après avoir évoqué les limites des méthodes antérieures seulement basées sur l’étude des lésions, nous présentons une description concise des aires cérébrales associées aux fonctions du langage telles que la perception (parole et lecture), les étapes centrales de traitement (système sémantique et syntaxe) ou encore la production du langage (orale et écrite). La mise en relation d’un nombre considérable de travaux, utilisant principalement l’imagerie par résonance magnétique (IRM) fonctionnelle mais aussi d’autres méthodes de neuro-imagerie, voire de stimulation cérébrale, révèle l’anatomie distribuée et les différents réseaux fonctionnels sous-tendant ces fonctions. Cet exposé de l’état actuel de nos connaissances laisse aussi entrevoir des évolutions futures qui devraient nous permettre d’étendre encore notre compréhension de ces fonctions, tant en ce qui concerne leur anatomie que les interactions neurofonctionnelles qui régissent leur organisation
    Revue de neuropsychologie. 01/2012; 4(4):255.
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    ABSTRACT: A fundamental issue in cognitive neuroscience is the existence of two major, sub-lexical and lexical, reading processes and their possible segregation in the left posterior perisylvian cortex. Using cortical electrostimulation mapping, we identified the cortical areas involved on reading either orthographically irregular words (lexical, "direct" process) or pronounceable pseudowords (sublexical, "indirect" process) in 14 right-handed neurosurgical patients while video-recording behavioral effects. Intraoperative neuronavigation system and Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) stereotactic coordinates were used to identify the localization of stimulation sites. Fifty-one reading interference areas were found that affected either words (14 areas), or pseudo-words (11 areas), or both (26 areas). Forty-one (80%) corresponded to the impairment of the phonological level of reading processes. Reading processes involved discrete, highly localized perisylvian cortical areas with individual variability. MNI coordinates throughout the group exhibited a clear segregation according to the tested reading route; specific pseudo-word reading interferences were concentrated in a restricted inferior and anterior subpart of the left supramarginal gyrus (barycentre x = -68.1; y = -25.9; z = 30.2; Brodmann's area 40) while specific word reading areas were located almost exclusively alongside the left superior temporal gyrus. Although half of the reading interferences found were nonspecific, the finding of specific lexical or sublexical interferences is new evidence that lexical and sublexical processes of reading could be partially supported by distinct cortical sub-regions despite their anatomical proximity. These data are in line with many brain activation studies that showed that left superior temporal and inferior parietal regions had a crucial role respectively in word and pseudoword reading and were core regions for dyslexia.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(11):e50665. · 3.73 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
431.13 Total Impact Points


  • 2013
    • University of Lausanne
      Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland
    • University Hospital of Lausanne
      Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland
  • 2006–2013
    • University of Toulouse II - Le Mirail
      Tolosa de Llenguadoc, Midi-Pyrénées, France
    • Bangor University
      Bangon, Wales, United Kingdom
  • 2005–2012
    • Paul Sabatier University - Toulouse III
      Tolosa de Llenguadoc, Midi-Pyrénées, France
  • 2010
    • University Pompeu Fabra
      • Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC)
      Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2008–2010
    • Foundation Santa Lucia
      • Department of Radiology
      Roma, Latium, Italy
  • 2007–2009
    • University of Toulouse
      Tolosa de Llenguadoc, Midi-Pyrénées, France
    • University of Glasgow
      • School of Psychology
      Glasgow, SCT, United Kingdom
  • 2002–2009
    • French Institute of Health and Medical Research
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2003–2008
    • Unité Inserm U1077
      Caen, Lower Normandy, France
    • University of Wales
      • Department of Psychology
      Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom