Women in Science: Pascale Engel de Abreu, Psychologist

 

January 2017

In early 2017, a small exhibition in Luxembourg City highlighted a selection of ‘WiSE – Women in Science and Engineering’. Here we introduce FNR Award winner Pascale Engel de Abreu, a Psychologist who studies cognitive development of multilingual children at the University of Luxembourg and is featured in the exhibition.

Research close to the needs of Luxembourg society

The questions Dr Engel and her team ask themselves include:

  • Which conditions must be met in order to properly learn a second language?
  • How can you diagnose learning difficulties in a multilingual child?
  • What effect does multilinguism have on the cognitive development of the brain?

To get her data, Pascale Engel frequently tests several hundred children and studies the results using statistical models. In some studies, she tests the same children over several years to observe how certain cognitive processes change.

Multilingualism as brain training

Dr Engel de Abreu has established that multilinguism is a kind of brain training for children. For example, Portuguese children grow up in Luxembourg are less fluent in their mother tongue compared to monolingual children. However, the children who grow up with multiple languages have an advantage in other areas, such as a better ability to focus their attention.

But Pascale Engel does not only study the cause of problems, she also tests methods that aim to help the children. One of her main goals is the development of science-based tests and intervention materials that help identify children with educational difficulties (e.g. dyslexia) at an early age, helping to ensure appropriate care.

WiSE women exhibition

Find out more about the WiSE – Women in Science and Engineering in Luxembourg exhibition (20 January to 11 February 2017, Luxembourg City)


More information

Pascale Engel de Abreu is currently funded by an FNR CORE grant

More information about de Abreu’s project

Dr Pascale Engel de Abreu

MEET THE SCIENTISTS: PASCALE ENGEL DE ABREU

RELATED PROGRAMMES

RELATED HIGHLIGHTS

Spotlight on Young Researchers: The role a gene plays in neurodegeneration and cancer

Neurogenerative diseases and cancer affect millions of people worldwide, especially people over 60. While advances in diagnosis and treatment have been made, there are still many open questions on the path to better treatment and earlier diagnosis. Translational neuroscientist Pauline Mencke studies a gene that is involved both in Parkinson’s disease and the brain cancer Glioblastoma multiforme.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Empowering critical digital humanities practice

Digitisation has had a significant impact on humanities research: not only has it changed how many scholars conduct their research, it has also led to completely new fields of research, such as digital humanities, a highly interdisciplinary science. Linguist Lorella Viola is interested in how software can enable critical digital humanities practice.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: A gas sensor powered by natural light

Many of the things we furnish our homes and office with emit gases that we are oblivious to inhaling. As eliminating these items from our lives is unrealistic, science wants to understand that which we cannot eliminate, thus more effective sensors are needed. Material scientist Rutuja Bhusari combines materials at nanoscale to create a gas sensor powered by nature.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: A hazelnut quality forecasting system

Can we predict the likelihood of a hazelnut tree becoming sick? Or what quality defects, and in what percentage, will be present in the final harvest? Science could soon make this possible, thanks to a hazelnut quality forecasting system based on a combination of machine learning and simulation models.

The Science of Science: understanding what makes [excellent] science

The digital transition of society over the last decades has brought with it a wealth of data about research – on funding, scientific outputs, collaborations, mobility, career trajectories and much more. Simultaneously, a new branch of science has emerged: the Science of Science. An interdisciplinary topic by nature, the field of research can be approached from many perspectives. We introduce the topic from the perspective of a funder, an economist, and a sociologist.

Where there is science, there is a woman

How does public research in Luxembourg measure up in terms of gender balance? What is being done to support and inspire a new generation of women in science? We delve into the situation in the Grand Duchy.

Thin films from plasma

Thin-film technology is used in many different applications. A Luxembourg research team has now developed a method for functionalising surfaces using plasma instead of liquids.

It is not only money that is distributed unequally

PEARL grantee Prof. Conchita D’Ambrosio has developed new methods to paint a detailed picture of social inequality.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Lucas Oesch

Luxembourg is one of many countries experiencing the arrival of asylum seekers and refugees that have been displaced for reasons such as conflicts or instability in their own country. Managing a research team for the first time, CORE Junior PI Lucas Oesch leads the project ‘REFUGOV’ at the University of Luxembourg, which looks at the accommodation of asylum seekers and refugees in cities and camps.

Spotlight on Young Researchers: Understanding how language manifests in the brain

At KU Leuven, Luxembourg national Jill Kries is part of a research team driven by understanding how cognition and brain structure develop over time in language-related disorders and how this knowledge can be applied in a clinical or educational setting. We take a closer look at the work of the young team.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies for analytics purposes. Find out more in our Privacy Statement