PROJECT – Sleep plays an active role in language learning by promoting, inter alia, lexical consolidation and integration. In ASD, sleep disturbances, including atypically short sleep time and irregular sleep‐wake rhythms, are atypically frequent and likely to persist across time. This project aims at investigating whether early sleep phenotyping in ASD will predict distinct profiles of language development. To do so, EEG and actigraphic measures will be taken in a large sample of 3- to 7-year-old autistic children, using a longitudinal approach. This project is funded by an EOS grant.
JOB DESCRIPTION – The successful candidate will be awarded a four-year PhD grant at the ACTE lab (https://acte.ulb.be ) at the Université libre de Bruxelles. S·he will be writing a PhD dissertation under the supervision of Prof. Gaétane Deliens on the association between sleep-wake consolidation and language growth in autistic children. This PhD dissertation is part of Belgian Language in Autism Cohort, a large multicentric and multilingual longitudinal project on the linguistic trajectories in autism, led by ACTE, at Université libre de Bruxelles, LAURES, at KU Leuven, and RIDDL, at Gent University. The successful candidate’s main tasks will be to set up the experimental paradigms in light of the most recent advances in the field, contribute to data collection, analyze and interpret the data, and draft the papers. All PhD students working within the project will have the opportunity to receive training in all the experimental tools used in the project (such as the administration of standardized cognitive, linguistic and autism-specific psychometric tools and questionnaires, EEG or measures of statistical learning), and to spend time in the other labs involved in the project. The monthly net salary is expected to be around 2100 € the first two years, and 2170 € the third and the fourth years.
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