Olivier Houdé received his Ph.D. in psychology in 1991 from the University of Paris Descartes ? Sorbonne and has been a professor there since 1995. He was also a guest professor at the University of Geneva from 1992 to 1995 and a junior member of the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF) from 1997 to 2002. He received his M.Sc. in neuroscience in 1998 from the University of Claude Bernard (Lyon). He was awarded the Dagnan-Bouveret Prize of the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences in 2002. He is the Editor-In-Chief of the Dictionary of Cognitive Science (New York, Routledge, 2004 ? E-Book, 2010). He is an exceptional-class professor at the University of Paris Descartes and a Senior member of the IUF since 2007. He is currently Director of the Laboratory for the Psychology of Child Development and Education (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris-Descartes and Caen Universities, Sorbonne-Paris-Cité Alliance for Higher Education and Research). He was awarded the Roberbal Prize in 2013 for his book ?The Child and the Screens? with J.F. Bach et al. from the French Academy of Sciences. Olivier Houdé is the author or co-author of 16 books and more than 300 scientific publications and communications.
Summary of scientific contributions
At the interface between child psychology, the education sciences (experimental psychopedagogy) and cognitive neuroscience: working with a large network of schools (preschool on up), we study cognitive development and functioning from early childhood to adulthood, in the following domains: categorization, number, reasoning and decision-making (including the role of emotion in these cognitive processes). The techniques used are jointly those of experimental and developmental psychology (performance, learning, mental chronometry, and brain imaging, the latter including positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and electro- and magnetoencephalography: high-density EEG and MEG). This research has demonstrated (1) intraindividual variability of cognitive strategies at all ages of development (i.e., a repertoire of thinking modes or multiple kinds of intelligence: logico-mathematical, visuospatial, linguistic-semantic, etc.), and (2) the key role of inhibition, as an executive function, in the selection of an appropriate strategy, to the exclusion of other strategies. The resulting view of cognitive development is dynamic and not necessarily linear. This new conception of development requires redefining the stages ? in a way that differs from the one proposed by Jean Piaget (1896-1980) ? through which intelligence is constructed in infants, children, adolescents, and adults, and also the mechanisms that ensure the transition from one stage to the next. It has opened up an avenue, in collaboration with the French Board of Education, for developing pedagogical interventions.
Cachia, A., Borst, G., Vidal, J., Fischer, C., Pineau, A., Mangin, J.-F., & Houdé, O. (2013). The shape of the anterior cingulate cortex contributes to cognitive control efficiency in preschoolers. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (in press).
Houdé, O., Pineau, A., Leroux, G., Poirel, N., Perchey, G., Lanoë, C., Lubin, A., Turbelin, M.-R., Rossi, S., Simon, G., Delcroix, N., Lamberton, F., Vigneau, M., Wisniewski, G., Vicet, J.-R., & Mazoyer, B. (2011). Functional MRI study of Piaget's conservation-of-number task in preschool and school-age children: A neo-Piagetian approach. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 110, 332-346.
Houdé, O., Rossi, S., Lubin, A., & Joliot, M. (2010). Mapping numerical processing, reading, and executive functions in the developing brain: An fMRI meta-analysis on 52 studies including 842 children. Developmental Science, 13, 876-885.
Houdé, O., & Tzourio-Mazoyer, N. (2003). Neural foundations of logical and mathematical cognition. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 4, 507-514.
Houdé, O., Zago, L., Mellet, E., Moutier, S., Pineau, A., Mazoyer, B., & Tzourio-Mazoyer, N. (2000). Shifting from the perceptual brain to the logical brain: The neural impact of cognitive inhibition training. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 12, 721-728.