When the issue of higher education arose, Christel Devue decided on psychology because she wanted to “help people”. She admits that at the time, she didn’t really have a very clear idea of what psychology studies entailed. Very quickly, she came to appreciate the discipline’s vast field of study and realised that these studies would open up horizons that were different to those she had thought of. By discovering the scientific and methodological side of psychology, she chose her path: research, "another way of helping".
Passionate about drawing and painting, she dedicated her doctoral thesis to self-recognition and the way we perceive our own face, under the supervision of Professor Serge Brédart, in the Cognitive Psychology Unit at the University of Liège. Since then, she has focused on visual attention. Starting with the face and wondering whether such a complex stimulus can automatically attract our attention, she gradually broadened her field of study, also focusing on major emotional stimuli, such as those that frighten us (spiders, for instance). Currently a researcher at the FRS-FNRS, still under the supervision of Serge Brédart, she is continuing her post-doctoral work at the VU University of Amsterdam, in the Department of Professor Jan Theeuwes, with whom she works together with Dr. Artem Belopolsky.
In an effort to combine science with her areas of interest, which include digital photography, cooking, film, music and nature, she has recently created a website/blog which combines her taste for drawing and painting with her professional research into the visual perception of faces: www.portraitlaboratorium.org