Contribution of neural oscillations to the control of handwriting in mono- and biscriptuals

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This project investigates how biscriptuality, i.e. the fact of being fluent in two writing systems such as Latin and Arabic or Chinese, affects the neural control of handwriting.


This project is in the field of motor control and language: it aims at assessing the contribution of neural oscillations in several frequency bands (beta, delta and theta) to the control of handwriting. Writing is a rhythmic movement, which makes this approach very relevant. We will couple EEG and digitizing tablet recordings to relate brain activity and graphomotor coordination indexes (spontaneous frequency, precision etc…), in a writing task involving more or less difficult conditions.
This proposal is part of a larger project on writing expertise supported by NeuroSchool and the ANR. In this project, we aim to understand why biscriptuality, i.e. the fact of being fluent in two writing systems such as Latin and Arabic or Chinese, affects graphomotor coordination. Indeed, in a recent behavioral study we observed that biscripters perform better than monoscripters in a writing task. This intriguing result suggests that biscriptuality could be an asset for graphomotor control, and we are currently exploring the neurophysiological correlates of this effect. One of the aims of the internship is to complement these analyses (source reconstruction, brain-behavior correlations).

Desired profile

A candidate interested in bilingualism/biscriptuality and motor control, with good organizational and collaborative skills (collaborative interlaboratory project and involving a PhD student and a postdoctoral researcher), and willing to invest in both theoretical reflection and EEG data processing (matlab). Being a biscripter is a plus, but not a requirement.

Host institution

The internship will take place in Saint Charles at the Centre de recherches en Psychologie et Neurosciences, in a research group directed by F. Xavier Alario and specialized in language, writing and music. It involves a collaboration with Benjamin Morillon, a researcher at INS who has a unique expertise on the role of brain oscillations in perception and motor control, and with Anne-Sophie Dubarry, an engineer at LNC specialized in human neurophysiological signals.

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