Exceptional People

Jean-Marie Annoni

University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Born in 1956 in Geneva, having completed my medical degree in 1981 in Geneva and my MD in 1985 in Zurich, I obtained my FMH in neurology in 1989, and my PD in 2000 at the University of Geneva. My teaching domain involves mostly under-graduate (3-5th year) clinical neurology, and post graduate behavioural neurology. Since 2011, I am professor of Neurology at the University of Fribourg, where I combine clinical activity, teaching programs and research projects with the laboratory of cognitive and neurological sciences (lCNS). My research expertise tackles predominantly the fields of bilingualism, decision taking and social cognition.

Nicolas Ruffieux

University of Fribourg, Switzerland

On the academic side, Nicolas Ruffieux obtained a PhD in Psychology at the University of Geneva in the field of child neuropsychology. He is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Fribourg and is responsible for the Bachelor program in Special Education. His main research interests include neuro-rehabilitation, the use of new technologies to compensate for cognitive/sensory impairments, clinical neuropsychology, visual impairment, executive functions and attention, and the development of new cognitive tests. On the clinical side, he is a certified neuropsychologist. He has worked over 10 years as a clinical neuropsychologist in several Swiss hospitals and neuro-rehabilitation centers (Geneva Hospital, SUVA rehabilitation clinic, Fribourg Hospital). In his practice, he mainly worked with brain-lesioned patients of all ages (from young children to elderly people), in order to assess and rehabilitate cognitive functions.

Course Description

The topic of the «Exceptional people» course addresses the implications of brain lesions on cognition and daily functioning. We will describe some classic syndromes as models of such behavioral modifications. The second key point of the day will discuss the role of assistive technologies in overcoming these difficulties or in training compensatory mechanisms, and also the impact of these cognitive changes on technology use. We will unravel the following main cognitive topics: visual impairment, spatial neglect, aphasia, dementia and change in creativity. Finally, we will propose as a practical exercise to imagine a project in which assistive technologies are used to help compensate for a particular cognitive syndrome called visual neglect.


October 12th, 2018