Stanislas Dehaene (College of France) offers a series of three lectures under the title “Culture and brain”
Distinguished neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene, Professor at the Collège de France, chair of Experimental Cognitive Psychology, and Director of the INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit, will give a series of three lectures at the University of Maryland Department of Linguistics, generously supported by Dave Baggett.
Wed. (11/13) 3pm – Reading: How literacy changes our brain. The acquisition of literacy literally transform s the brain. In this lecture, Professor Dehaene will describe recent experiments in which him and his colleagues scanned literate and illiterate adults and children in order to identify which major brain circuits are altered by reading acquisition. The results illuminate the cerebral mechanisms of a major cultural invention, and speak to the debated issue of how reading should be taught.
Thurs. (11/14) 3pm – Arithmetic: The brain mechanisms of numeracy. Mental arithmetic is the second pillar of early education. Professor Dehaene will argue that children’s intuitions of number emerge from an evolutionarily ancient ‘number sense’, which represents quantities in an approximate manner, but acquires a greater precision with the acquisition of number symbols. Recent experiments show that the ancient approximate number system remains dormant even in educated adults.
Fri. (11/15) 10am – Language, music and mathematics: In search of brain mechanisms for syntax.
Although rudimentary representations of number and symbols may be present in non-human primates, the ability to combine words and symbols into nested syntactic structures seems to be unique to the human brain. Professor Dehaene in collaboration with Christophe Pallier and Ghislaine Dehaene-Lambertz, are using brain-imaging methods to explore the cortical representation of the nested structures of language, music and mathematics.
Our results constrain the search for a neural code for syntax.
All lectures are taking place in the Maryland Room (ground floor) of Marie Mount Hall.