The EvaLab-EyeTech group is interested in the visuo-spatial exploration pattern of patient with cerebellar dysfunction faced with a cognitively demanding task. The cerebellum plays an important role in motor control and learning through representation of an internal model that may reproduce dynamic properties of the body. These models allow exact control of body movements, even in the absence of sensory feed-back. Analogously, it seems that the cerebellum encodes the internal model, reproducing major behavior and cognitive patterns, possibly visual spatial mapping during visual exploration.
Several studies on patients with disorders of the cerebellum have documented alterations in specific cognitive performances; it is well known that the cerebellum is implicated in the control of language abilities, presumably creating internal models that automate assembly of words. Autism and dyslexia express two models of cerebellar cognitive dysfunction. Using a test for dyslexia, we found a specific visual pattern, characterized by continuous re-fixations of letters previously encompassed by gaze, that suggests altered working memory in these subjects.