Hebrew University brain sciences researcher Haim Sompolinsky receives Swartz Prize in US from Society for Neuroscience

Jerusalem, Dec. 4, 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.

Supported by The Swartz Foundation, the $25,000 prize recognizes an individual who has produced a significant cumulative contribution to theoretical models or computational methods in neuroscience.

The award was presented during SfN’s annual meeting in the US. The Washington, D.C., based SfN comprises more than 41,000 researchers and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system.
“The society is pleased to recognize the exceptional contributions of Dr. Sompolinsky to the field of theoretical neuroscience,” said Dr. Susan G. Amara, president of SfN. “His work, blending physics and neuroscience, has established innovative methods and set rigorous standards for advancing the field.”

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.

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.