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Cherif Sahyoun


  • First class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering, Sussex University, UK.

School of Engineering prize for outstanding research: 3D solid reconstruction of a child’s ribcage for biomechanical purposes and rapid prototyping.

  • Masters by Research degree: Oxford University, UK

Functional magnetic resonance imaging of plasticity processes in the motor system following Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease.

  • Harvard-MIT division of Health Sciences and Technology, Medical Engineering and Medical Physics PhD program.

Professional Interests

The relationship between brain structure and high cognitive functions. I am particularly interested in how functional changes in the brain affect our behaviour and understanding of the world. More specifically, I am fascinated by cognitive development and the way children learn to produce new thought. Among my areas of predilection are the processes of reasoning, imagination, theory of mind, and humour. My long term goal is to bring a contribution towards the understanding and hopefully help the development of child cognition.

Current Projects

I am working under the hypothesis that animation can be used as a teaching tool for children with learning difficulties. Most educational material currently available uses cartoon forms to convey information to kids. However, very little research has focused on what exactly the benefits of such media are. I am aiming to dissect the different aspects of animation in order to identify which characteristics (shape, colour, etc.) have the greatest effect on children’s learning and attention. This work could be used to design optimal aids for children with particular disabilities.

My first set of studies is investigating performance in inferential reasoning skills according to the type of stimulus used (verbal vs. visual) and the neural correlates of these tasks. The first population I will be working with is children with mild language impairement.

Personal Interests

Animation, Photography, Volleyball, Tennis, Soulful music, Bandes Dessinees, Calvin and Hobbes, Anthropology, Mythology, Audio-visual Technology, Close-up Prestidigitation



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