Our lab is unique in that it includes researchers from cognitive psychology, neuroscience and education. The overarching goal of the our research is to identify the cognitive processes underlying functions that are critical to human learning and development, such as logical reasoning, problem-solving and mathematical thinking. A major objective is to evaluate how this knowledge could help inform education, and how education research can inform cognitive theories.

To address these questions, we use a combination of behavioral assessments and brain imaging techniques, such as electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). You can find on this page a short description of some of our main research questions.




How can we conclude that Moscow is north of New-York from the premises Moscow is north of Paris and Paris is north of New-York? Several of our projects explore the cognitive mechanisms underlying these sorts of deductions. We are particularly interested in determining whether different types of deductions involve different mechanisms, how early these mechanisms mature and to what extent reasoning abilities contribute to school achievement.


Some relevant publications:

Prado, J., Spotorno, N., Koun, E., Hewitt, E., Van Der Henst, J.B., Sperber, D., & Noveck, I.A. (2015). Neural interaction between logical reasoning and pragmatic processing in narrative discourse. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 27, 692-704. (PDF)

Mathieu, R., Booth, J.R., & Prado, J. (2015). Distributed neural representations of logical arguments in school-age children. Human Brain Mapping. 36, 996-1009. (PDF)

Prado, J., Mutreja, R. & Booth, J.R. (2013). Fractionating the neural substrates of transitive reasoning: Task-dependent contributions of spatial and verbal representations. Cerebral Cortex. 23(3), 499-507. (PDF)

Prado, J., Chadha, A. & Booth, J.R. (2011). The brain network for deductive reasoning: A quantitative meta-analysis of 28 neuroimaging studies. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23(11), 3483-3497. (PDF)






Our research focuses on two building blocks of math competence, i.e., arithmetic processing and problem-solving. We study how these abilities emerge over development and education, how they are impaired in children with learning disabilities, and how they are expressed in math experts. We are also particularly interested in exploring the links between math competence and visuo-spatial processing.


Some relevant publications:

Prado, J., Mutreja, R., & Booth, J.R. (2014). Developmental dissociation in the neural responses to simple multiplication and subtraction problems. Developmental Science. 17(4), 537-552. (PDF)

Prado, J., Lu, J. Liu, L., Dong, Q., Zhou, X. & Booth, J.R. (2013). The neural bases of the multiplication problem-size effect across countries. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 7:189. (PDF)

Gardes, M.-L. (2012). La position du chercheur en didactique dans une résolution de problème ouvert par des élèves et par un mathématicien. In Luc Trouche, Hamid Chaachoua, Magali Hersant, Yves Matheron et Giorgos Psycharis (dir.). Faire ensemble des mathématiques : une approche dynamique de la qualité des ressources pour l’enseignement, Actes des journées mathématiques de l’IFÉ, juin 2011, ENS Lyon. (PDF)

Gardes, M.-L. (2010). Démarche d'investigation en arithmétique, entre essais et conjectures : Un exemple en classe de terminale scientifique, Petit x, 83, 51-79. (PDF)

Our research is generously funded by:


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