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Science of the Brain

Neural network

Weighing about three pounds for the average adult, within the brain are 100 billion neurons that give us the ability to see, smell and move, as well as think, talk and read. All we experience and remember – in essence, every little thing that makes us who we are – is rooted in the neocortex, the seat of the "thinking" brain. Understanding how such a miracle is possible is the vast mission of the field of neuroscience.

In the past few decades, researchers have learned much about the fundamental workings of the brain, with tremendous gains in knowledge about the molecules that make it run. Armed with the human genome and a combination of cutting-edge genetic methods and brain imaging techniques, lab scientists are now exploring the neural circuitry of living animals in ways they could likely have never dreamed of even just 20 years ago.

The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience

The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience is awarded for outstanding achievement in advancing our knowledge and understanding of the brain and nervous system, including molecular neuroscience, cellular neuroscience, systems neuroscience, neurogenetics, developmental neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, computational neuroscience, and related facets of the brain and nervous system.


Nancy Kanwisher
Winrich Freiwald
Doris Ying Tsao

For the discovery of a highly localized and specialized system for representation of faces in human and non-human primate neocortex.

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Jean-Louis Mandel
Harry T. Orr
Christopher A. Walsh
Huda Y. Zoghbi

For pioneering the discovery of genes underlying a range of serious brain disorders.

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David Julius
Ardem Patapoutian

For their transformative discovery of receptors for temperature and pressure.

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A. James Hudspeth
Robert Fettiplace
Christine Petit

For their pioneering work on the molecular and neural mechanisms of hearing.

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Eve Marder
Michael M. Merzenich
Carla J. Shatz

For the discovery of mechanisms that allow experience and neural activity to remodel brain function.

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Brenda Milner
John O’Keefe
Marcus E. Raichle

For the discovery of specialized brain networks for memory and cognition.

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Cornelia Isabella Bargmann
Winfried Denk
Ann Martin Graybiel

For elucidating basic neuronal mechanisms underlying perception and decision.

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Richard H. Scheller
Thomas C. Südhof
James E. Rothman

For discovering the molecular basis of neurotransmitter release

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Pasko Rakic
Thomas Jessell
Sten Grillner

For discoveries on the developmental and functional logic of neuronal circuits.

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