Professor Dehaene is one of Europe’s leading cognitive neuroscientists. His work uses advanced techniques in functional magnetic resonance imaging, electro-encephalography, interacranial electrodes, and psychological manipulations to study how culture and biology interact in the human brain. He is internationally known for his work on the neural bases of reading abilities, mathematical language, bilingualism, and consciousness.
In his acclaimed recent book, Reading in the Brain: The Science and Evolution of a Cultural Invention, Professor Dehaene examines the brain circuitry at work behind reading and describes groundbreaking research on how the brain processes languages. He proposes a powerful “neuronal recycling” hypothesis, which postulates that cultural inventions invade evolutionarily older brain circuits, and while doing so inherit many of their structural constraints. In The Number Sense: How Mathematical Knowledge Is Embedded in Our Brains, Stanislas Dehaene argues that humans have an inbuilt “number sense” capable of some basic calculations and estimates. The problems begin when we learn mathematics and have to perform procedures that are anything but instinctive.
Professor Dehaene has authored three major books, and produced five edited or co-edited books, two television movies, over 200 scientific articles in such leading journals as Science, Nature, and Nature Neuroscience, and thirty-five book chapters. His work has received several international prizes, including the million dollar James S. McDonnell Centennial Fellowship, the Louis D Foundation Prize (750,000 Euros), the Piux XI Medal of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (Vatican), the 2007 Grand Prix RTL-Lire (Best Science Book) for Les neurones de la lecture (Reading in the Brain), and the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Cognitive Science (2008). In 2010 Professor Dehaene was elected a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He holds degrees from the École Normale Supérieure, Paris; University of Paris IV (Applied Mathematics and Computer Science); and École des Hautes Études en Science Sociales.