Cognitive Neuroscience (CNS) LAB

Brief description

The CNS research group is interested in understanding higher-order cognitive processes and their development. The research focus of the CNSlab lies on numeracy and literacy and their (typical and atypical) development. 

We are using:

  • behavioural methods
  • EEG and fMRI approaches (in collaboration with the UCL in Brussels)

to study higher-order cognition in different age groups composed of:

  • Healthy participants (children and adults)
  • Persons with learning difficulties

Current research projects

  • Spatial-Numerical associations in mental arithmetic (SNAMath) (FNR INTER project)

The present project capitalizes on recent advances in the domain of numerical cognition to reveal the learning mechanisms behind the space number interaction. The objective is to determine when and how spatial and numerical representations interact to give rise to spatial-numerical associations observed in mental arithmetic, in order to understand the learning mechanisms influencing mental arithmetic. We aim to identify the putative roots and the developmental trajectory of the spatial-numerical associations in mental arithmetic, in order to understand how space processing is involved in the acquisition and the consolidation of mental arithmetic in human children and adults. The project is carried out thanks to the join expertise of two research groups in Belgium (UCL) and Luxembourg (UniLu).

Christine Schiltz (PI) & Nicolas Masson

  • (How) does language support the development of an independent symbolic number system? (SymNumDev) (FNR CORE project)

The linguistic environment plays a decisive role in all stages of the development of numerical competencies. This observation is particularly important for learning environments, where children are facing the difficulty of learning numbers in more than one language or a language different than their mother tongue (such an environment is Luxembourg). In the current project, we focus on the role of language in the very early stages of symbolic number (Arabic numerals, number words) acquisition. We will investigate whether and how the language-specific recursive and combinatorial rules (e.g., statistical regularities, grammatical rules), and the amount of linguistic exposure (e.g., mono vs bilinguals), drive the efficient learning of numerals in young children. The project will also design and evaluate a novel training aiming to foster the development of the symbolic number system in young children. Providing such insights into the exact role language plays in the early stages of number development is crucial for the development of school curricula and/or proper intervention programs aiming at improving the numerical competencies of people living in a multilingual society.

Christine Schiltz (PI) & Mila Marinova


  • Prof. Christine Schiltz
  • Dr. Carrie Georges
  • Dr. Aliette Lochy
  • Dr. Talia Retter
  • Dr. Nicolas Masson
  • Dr. Mila Marinova
  • PhDs Rémy Lachelin
  • PhDs Anne Schmitt
  • PhDs Véra Hilger
  • PhDs Styliani (Stella) Politi




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