ELSC's Prof. Haim Sompolinsky awarded Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience for 2011


Prof. Haim SompolinskyNovember 14, 2011: The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) has awarded the Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience to Prof. Haim Sompolinsky of the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC). The prize, which is supported by the Swartz Foundation, recognizes an individual who has produced a significant cumulative contribution to theoretical models or computational methods in neuroscience. The award was presented during this week’s Neuroscience 2011, the SfN's annual meeting and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health. 

“The Society is pleased to recognize the exceptional contributions of Dr. Sompolinsky to the field of theoretical neuroscience," said SfN president Dr. Susan G. Amara. "His work, blending physics and neuroscience, has established innovative methods and set rigorous standards for advancing the field." 

Prof. Sompolinsky has worked to develop the field of theoretical neuroscience throughout his career. His research helped shape system-level brain theory using principles and methods of statistical physics and dynamical systems. Sompolinsky's "ring" model has served as a key paradigm for modeling neural circuits and has been the basis of countless studies of short-term memory, decision-making, selectivity, and receptive fields.

The award ceremony included a presentation by Prof. Sompolinsky entitled ‘The Quest for the Emergent Brain’ in which he presented examples from models of cognitive functions such as memory, learning, and sensory processing, as well as from the theory of chaos and excitation/inhibition balance in cortical networks. He also discussed the implications of the emergent nature of brain dynamics and function on the understanding of brain diseases and the role of stimulation.

Sompolinsky, who is the incumbent of the William N. Skirball Chair in Neurophysics, has won previous awards, including the Landau Prize for Brain Science and the Hebrew University President’s Award for Outstanding Research. He is a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  

The Society for Neuroscience is an organization of more than 41,000 researchers and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system.

Source: Swartz Foundation