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 reasoning and numerical cognition. 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.

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REASONING

 

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:

Schwartz, F., Epinat-Duclos, J., Léone, J., & Prado, J. (2017). The neural development of conditional reasoning in children: Different mechanisms for assessing the logical validity and likelihood of conclusions. Neuroimage. 163, 264-275. (PDF)

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)

 

 

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NUMERICAL COGNITION

 

Our research focuses on two building blocks of numerical cognition, i.e., basic number knowledge and arithmetic processing. 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 adults. We are also particularly interested in exploring the links between math competence and visuo-spatial processing.

 

Some relevant publications:

Mathieu, R., Epinat-Duclos, J., Sigovan, M., Breton, A., Cheylus, A., Fayol, M., Thevenot, C., & Prado, J. (in press). What’s behind a ‘+’ sign? Perceiving an arithmetic operator recruits brain circuits for spatial orienting. Cerebral Cortex. (PDF)

Thevenot, C., Uittenhove, K., & Prado, J. (2016). La dyscalculie et l'automatisation des procédures de calcul. Développements. 20-21. (PDF)

Mathieu, R., Gourjon, A., Couderc, A., Thevenot, C. & Prado, J. (2016). Running the Number Line: Rapid Shifts of Attention in Single-Digit Arithmetic. Cognition. 146, 229-239. (PDF)

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)

Our research is generously funded by:

 

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