Professor Karl Friston awarded the Glass Brain Award from the Organisation of Human Brain Mapping
19 July 2016
Professor Karl Friston (FRS), from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL Institute of Neurology has been awarded the Glass Brain Award from the Organisation of Human Brain Mapping, for his extraordinary lifetime accomplishments in the field of human brain mapping.
Professor Cathy Price, Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging,
UCL Institute of Neurology, comments on his achievements:
groundbreaking work in statistics, computational modelling and
theoretical neurobiology has resulted in seminal contributions in many
areas of cognitive neuroscience and psychiatry.
For example, Friston
provided a comprehensive framework for the analyses of structural and
functional neuroimaging data, named “statistical parametric mapping“
(SPM). This work underpinned the massive acceleration in the use of
imaging technology to quantify the structural and functional principles
of human brain organization including the non-invasive assessment of
effective connectivity and other physiological processes.
Over the last
decade, Friston has elucidated a cogent and ambitious theory of brain
function based on a free energy principle of perception and action. This
approach integrates decades of research from the machine learning
community on deep hierarchical learning with neuroimaging and
psychological research on predictive coding.
This is an exciting
endeavour that is also engaging many researchers outside our discipline,
including philosophers, robot engineers and theoretical physicists, and
offering a unique means to understand the basic mechanisms that guide
the functional organization of the human brain.
Moreover, the free energy principle is already showing considerable impact in the clinical domain, guiding models of psychiatric symptoms and informing the design of innovative neuroimaging experiments. Friston’s own exploration of the clinical value of these models, in fields as diverse as psychosis, autism and Parkinson's disease, is extraordinarily influential and informative."