Stanislas Dehaene

  • Stanislas Dehaene - Lauréat Inserm 2012 - Grand Prix
    Stanislas Dehaene
    INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit, Paris, France

Stanislas Dehaene been working in cognitive neuroscience for the past 27 years, and directing the Cognitive NeuroImaging Unit for the past 15 years. His research is focused on clarifying the brain mechanisms of cognitive functions specifically developed in the human species, such as reading, calculation, syntax, and conscious reasoning. His approach combines sophisticated behavioural paradigms with a variety of other experimental methods including neuropsychological studies of brain-lesioned patients and brain-imaging studies with positron emission tomography, functional magnetic resonance imaging, high-density recordings of event-related potentials, and intracranial recordings in epilepsy patients. His contributions include the demonstration of the central role played by a region of the intraparietal sulcus in understanding quantities and arithmetic (the “number sense”). With neurologist Laurent Cohen, he also studied the neural networks of reading and demonstrated the crucial role of the left occipito-temporal region in word recognition (the “visual word form area”). He demonstrated that subliminal presentations of words can yield detectable cortical activations in fMRI, and have used these data to support an original theory of conscious and nonconscious processing in the human brain. With neurobiologist Jean-Pierre Changeux, he has devised and simulated formal models of minimal neuromimetic networks, in an attempt to throw some links between molecular, physiological, imaging, and behavioral data on high-level human cognitive functions and consciousness.