Laurent Grégoire thesis defense - Friday december 13th 2013 at 09:30 - Campus Dijon, room Conseil de Droit (Droit-Lettres building at street level)

Published: 29 nov. 13, 14:56 in Thesis defenses.

L'émergence et l'évolution du caractère obligatoire des automatismes cognitifs

The aim of this thesis is to examine the emergence and the evolution of the obligatory characteristic of cognitive automatisms. To achieve this, we devised a new experimental situation called musical Stroop. The basic arrangement comprises a treble staff with a note in various positions. A name of a note is printed inside the note. For the congruent condition, the note name is congruent with the note position on the staff, whereas in the incongruent condition, note name and position are incongruent. We showed that musicians process the incongruent condition slower than the congruent condition (Study 1). This effect, named Musical Stroop Effect (MSE), is generated by the automaticity of note naming. The musical Stroop offers the possibility to investigate the evolution of the irrepressibility of note naming, while avoiding bias related to subject age. Thus, we tested several groups of musician children of similar age whose the level of musical education varied from 1 to 5 years. Our results indicate a positive linear relation between the MSE and the level of musical training (Study 3). Consequently, the irrepressibility of the automatic processing seems to increase monotonically with practice (that is to say in parallel with the other characteristics of automatisms). We also showed, by submitting adults (Study 2) and children (Study 4) musicians to the two conflicting tasks of the musical Stroop paradigm, word reading and note naming, that the pattern of interference depends on the relative strength of the two competing processing. Finally, we noted that the automaticity of note naming persists despite a total and protracted cessation of practice (Study 5).

Jury :

Mireille Besson (Université d’Aix-Marseille), Examinateur

Patrick Bonin (Université de Bourgogne), Examinateur

Ludovic Ferrand (Université de Clermont-Ferrand 2), Rapporteur

Olivier Koenig (Université de Lyon 2), Rapporteur

Pierre Perruchet et Bénédicte Poulin-Charronnat, Directeurs de thèse

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