Adélaïde de Heering's main research interests 

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Developmental neuropsychology targets different age ranges. Among age ranges targeted by developmental psychology is early development typically referring to the stages of life before children start talking: newborns (days), infants (0-1 years) and toddlers (1-2 years).

Early development


Congenital blindness is one case of atypical development which exemplifies the brain's extraordinary reorganization capacity. During braille reading, blind people recruit touch rather than sight, which activates the brain areas typically associated with language in sighted people.

Atypical development


Brain plasticity, also known as neuroplasticity, refers to the brain's ability to change and adapt to the environment as a result of experience. Developmental neuropsychology points to plasticity as the key mechanism involved in maturation, the change in brain functions with age and the assessment of neurocognitive function at any given point in time.

Brain plasticity


The brain constantly receives vast amounts of information from its surroundings which have to be efficiently and rapidly integrated. This is particularly the case for faces (vision), which have to be associated with their auditory counterparts, voices (audition). Both types of stimuli recruit dedicated brain regions which activation depends on the type and the complexity of the input. Faces, for example, recruit regions along the ventral visual stream and activate predominantly the right hemisphere.


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Lifespan development explores how we change and grow from conception to death. Developmental psychologists view development as a lifelong process that can be studied scientifically in order to better understand how a visual function such as face perception develops with age, for example.



Face processing is essential to adequately respond to the environment from an early age (e.g., interact, fight, seek protection). Faces are composed of different features such as identity and emotional content, which are merged into a coherent whole by a neural system that shows plasticity late until adolescence.