UCL News


UCL neuroscientists are the 'most influential in the modern era'

22 November 2016

Three neuroscientists from the Faculty of Brain Sciences have come out on top in a study to find the world's most influential neuroscientists.

Professors Chris Frith, Ray Dolan and Karl Friston.

A programme called Semantic Scholar, built at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) in Seattle, analysed approximately 2.5 million neuroscience papers, mapped all of the citations between them, and calculated a score of each author's influence on the rest. From this data, the programme produced a list of the world's top 10 most influential neuroscientists.  

Professor Chris Frith ranked 7th, Professor Ray Dolan ranked 2nd and Professor Karl Friston topped the list in 1st place, making UCL the most represented institution on the list. Professors Friston and Dolan are currently based the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging (WTCN), Institute of Neurology, and Professor Frith worked there until retiring in 2007. The WTCN is an interdisciplinary centre that brings together clinicians and scientists who study a broad range of higher cognitive function using neuroimaging techniques. The WTCN's goal is to understand how thought and behaviour arise from brain activity, and how such processes break down in neurological and psychiatric disease.

The three neuroscientists have known each other since their beginning of their careers. Professor Dolan told Science, "We all started together working at the MRC Cyclotron Unit, Hammersmith Hospital in [the] late 1980s. We moved together to UCL in 1993 and worked in the same department."