During the Forum of European Neuroscience 2002 in Paris the Boehringer Ingelheim FENS Research Award was awarded for the first time. This research award consists of both a certificate and prize money. The Boehringer Ingelheim FENS Research Award 2002 was given to the 37-year-old Dr. Stanislas Dehaene for his outstanding experimental studies of the cerebral basis of the higher cognitive functions of the human brain. Dr. Dehaene currently heads the Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit of INSERM in the Service Hospitalier Frédéric Joliot in Orsay, France. "The results of my research will help researchers worldwide understand the nature of the brain mechanisms for language and arithmetics. Understanding how those mechanisms can fail should then enable us to design better forms of rehabilitation - especially for children", the recipient is quoted.
Dr. Stanislas Dehaene's pioneering research has been advancing our understanding of the cerebral processes underlying our handling of numbers and speech for some 15 years. His use of modern imaging techniques enables us to observe what happens in various parts of the brain while complex cognitive problems are being solved. Some experiments of a similar nature have been performed on animals.
Dr. Stanislas Dehaene recently used these brain imaging techniques to show that approximations of numbers are handled in a different cerebral tract from that used for exact calculations. The result obtained in this area together with his wife Ghislaine Dehaene-Lambertz, resulted in a pioneering article on language development in children.
Stanislas Dehaene gave his lecture at the FENS Forum Meeting 2002 in Paris.