Stanislas Dehaene

Stanislas Dehaene

Infobox Scientist

image_width = 150px
name = Stanislas Dehaene
birth_date = May 12, 1965
birth_place = Roubaix, France
death_date =
death_place =
residence = flagicon|France Palaiseau, France
nationality = flagicon|France French
field = Cognitive Neuroscience
work_institution = INSERM Unit 562 "Cognitive Neuroimaging" (director) Collège de France (professor)
alma_mater = École Normale Supérieure, Paris; École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris.
doctoral_advisor = Jacques Mehler
doctoral_students = Lionel Naccache, Philippe Pinel, Claire Sergent, Veronique Izard, Claire Landmann
known_for = Numerical cognition, Neural correlates of reading and consciousness
prizes = James S. McDonnell Foundation "Genius Award", Louis D. Prize, Prix Jean Rostand (for "La Bosse des Maths")
religion =
footnotes =

Stanislas Dehaene is a Professor at the Collège de France and has been director of [ INSERM Unit 562] (the French equivalent of the U.S. National Institutes of Health or the British Medical Research Council) since 1989. He has worked on a number of topics, including numerical cognition, the neural basis of reading and the neural correlates of consciousness. Dehaene was one of ten people to be awarded the James S. McDonnell Foundation [ Centennial Fellowship] in 1999 for his work on the "Cognitive Neuroscience of Numeracy". In 2003, together with Denis Le Bihan, the Louis D. prize from the Institut de France (see fr icon [ Louis D. 2003] ). Dehaene is the author of more than 120 peer reviewed publications, author of two books, and editor of four others.


Dehaene began his training as a mathematician, studying mathematics at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. He obtained his Masters degree in Applied mathematics and computer science in 1985 from the University of Paris VI. He turned to neuroscience and pscyhology after reading Jean-Pierre Changeux's book, "L'Homme neuronal" ("Neuronal Man: The Biology of The Mind"). Inspired by his reading of Changeux's work, Dehaene began collaborate with him on computational neuronal models of human cognition, including working memory and task control, collaborations which continue to the present day. Dehaene then completed his PhD in Experimental Psychology in 1989 with Jacques Mehler at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris. After receiving his doctorate, Dehaene became a research scientist at INSERM in the Cognitive Sciences and Psycholinguistics Laboratory ("Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique") directed by Mehler. He also spent two years, from 1992-1994, as a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Cognitive and Decision Sciences, with Michael Posner at the University of Oregon. Dehaene then returned to France, where he began his own research group, which today numbers nearly 30 graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and researchers (for Dehaene's complete curriculum vitae see here [] ). In 2005, he was elected to the newly created Chair of Experimental Psychology at the Collège de France.

Numerical cognition

Dehaene is best-known for his work on numerical cognition, a discipline which he popularized and synthesized with the publication of his 1997 book, "The Number Sense" ("La Bosse des maths") which won the fr icon [ Prix Jean Rostand] for best French language general-audience scientific book. He began his studies of numerical cognition with Jacques Mehler, examining the cross-linguistic frequency of number words, [Dehaene, S., & Mehler, J. (1992). Cross-linguistic regularities in the frequency of number words. "Cognition" 43:1–29.] whether numbers were understood in an analog or compositional manner, [Dehaene, S (1989) The psychophysics of numerical comparison: a reexamination of apparently incompatible data. "Perception & Psychophysics" 45:557–566.] [Dehaene, S.Dupoux, E., & Mehler, J. (1990). Is numerical comparison digital? Analogical and symbolic effects in two-digit number comparison. "Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance" 16:626–641.] and the connection between numbers and space (the "SNARC effect"). [Dehaene, S., Bossini, S., & Giraux, P. (1993). The mental representation of parity and numerical magnitude. "Journal of Experimental Psychology: General" 122:371–396.] With Changeux, he then developed a computational model of numerical abilities, which predicted log-gaussian tuning functions for number neurons, [Dehaene, S., & Changeux, J.P. (1993). Development of elementary numerical abilities: A neuronal model. "Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience" 5:390–407.] a finding which has now been elegantly confirmed with single-unit physiology [see Nieder, A. (2005) Counting on neurons: The neurobiology of numerical competence. "Nature Reviews Neuroscience" 6:177–190.] With long-time collaborator Laurent Cohen, a neurologist at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, Dehaene also identified patients with lesions in different regions of the parietal lobe with imparied multiplication, but preserved subtraction (associated with lesions of the inferior parietal lobule) and others with impaired subtraction, but preserved multiplication (associated with lesions to the intraparietal sulcus). [Dehaene, S., & Cohen, L. (1991). Two mental calculation systems. "Neuropsychologia" 29:1045–74.] This double dissociation suggested that different neural subtrates for overlearned, linguistically mediated calculations, like multiplication, are mediated by inferior parietal regions, while on-line computations, like subtraction are mediated by the intraparietal sulcus. Shortly thereafer, Dehaene began EEG [Dehaene, S. (1996). The organization of brain activations in number comparison: Event-related potentials and the additive-factors method. "Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience" 8:47–68.] [Kiefer, M., & Dehaene, S. (1997). The time course of parietal activation in single-digit multiplication: Evidence from event-related potentials. "Mathematical Cognition" 3:1–30.] and functional neuroimaging [Dehaene, S., Spelke, L., Pinel, P., Stanescu, R., Tsivkin, S. (1999). Sources of mathematical thinking : behavioral and brain-imaging evidence. "Science" 284:970–974] [Pinel, P., Le Clec’h, G., van de Moortele, P.F., Naccache, L., Le Bihan, D., & Dehaene, S. (1999). Event-related fMRI analysis of the cerebral circuit for number comparison. "NeuroReport" 10:1473–79.] [Chochon, F., Cohen, L., van de Moortele, P.F., & Dehaene, S. (1999). Differential contributions of the left and right inferior parietal lobules to number processing. "Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience" 11:617–630.] studies of these capacities, showing that parietal and frontal regions were specifically involved in mathematical cognition, including the dissociation between subtraction and multiplication observed in his previous patient studies.


He subsequently turned his attention to work on the neural correlates of consciousness, leading to numerous scientific articles, an edited book, "The Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness" and is the Past President of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness. Dehaene has developed computational models of consciousness, based on Bernard Baars Global Workspace Theory, which suggest that only one piece of information can gain access to a "global neuronal workspace".Dehaene, S. and Naccache, L. (2001). Towards a cognitive neuroscience of consciousness: Basic evidence and a workspace framework. "Cognition" 79:1–37. PMID 11164022] To explore the neural basis of this global neuronal workspace, he has conducted functional neuroimaging experiments of masking and the attentional blink, which show that information that reaches conscious awareness leads to increased activation in a network of parietal and frontal regions.Dehaene, S., Naccache, L., Cohen, L., LeBihan, D., Mangin, J.F., Poline, J.-B. and Rivière, D. (2001). Cerebral mechanisms of word masking and unconscious repetition priming. "Nature Neuroscience" 4:752–758. PMID 11426233] Sergent, C., Baillet, S., and Dehaene, S. (2005). Timing of the brain events underlying access to consciousness during the attentional blink. "Nature Neuroscience" 8(10):1285–86. PMID 16158062]

Neural basis of reading

In addition, his work has neuronal models of cognitive functions associated with the prefrontal cortex, brain imaging of language processing in monolingual and bilingual subjects, and in collaboration with Laurent Cohen, he studies the neural basis of reading.

Editorial assignments

He is also an associate editor of the journal "Cognition", and a member of the editorial board of several other journals, including "Neuroimage", "PLoS Biology", and "Developmental Science".

Books by Stanislas Dehaene

* Dehaene, S. (Ed.) "Numerical Cognition." Oxford, Blackwell. ISBN 1-557-86444-6.
* Dehaene, S. (Ed.) "Le Cerveau en action: l'imagerie cérébrale en psychologie cognitive." Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1997. ISBN 2-13-048270-8.
* Dehaene, S. "La Bosse des maths". Paris: Odile Jacob, 1997. ISBN 2-7381-0442-8.
* Dehaene, S. "The number sense." New York: Oxford University Press, 1997; Cambridge (UK): Penguin press, 1997. ISBN 0-19-511004-8.
* Dehaene, S. (Ed.) "The Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness." MIT Press, 2001. ISBN 0-262-54131-9.
* Dehaene, S. Duhamel, J.R., Hauser, M. and Rozzolatti, G. (Ed.) "From Monkey Brain to Human Brain." Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005. ISBN 0-262-04223-1.
* Dehaene, S. "Vers une science de la vie mentale." Paris: Fayard, 2007. (Inaugural Lecture at the Collège de France). ISBN 2-213-63084-4.
* Dehaene, S. "Les neurones de la lecture." Paris: Odile Jacob, 2007. ISBN 2-7381-1974-3.


External links

* [ Laboratory Website]
* [ College de France Entry]
* [ Edge Bio]

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