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NYU's Movshon receives Champalimaud Vision Award for work on how brain reconstructs images
Date:6/11/2010

J. Anthony Movshon, director of New York University's Center for Neural Science, has been named the recipient of the 2010 Antnio Champalimaud Vision Award for his work on how the brain reconstructs images, the Lisbon-based Champalimaud Foundation announced today. Movshon shares the award with William T. Newsome, a Stanford University neuroscientist.

The Champalimaud Vision Award comes with a $1.3 million prize, the largest monetary prize in the field of vision and one of the biggest scientific and humanitarian prizes in the world.

This year's Vision Award recognizes the work of both Movshon and Newsome over the last three decades. Working at times together and at other times separately, these two researchers have had a major impact on scientists' understanding of how the brain reconstructs images, so that human beings can perceive, interpret, and act in the world. By building a bridge between psychophysics and human behavior on the one hand and the physiology of individual neurons and what they compute on the other, these two neuroscientists have shed ground-breaking light upon the way that the brain processes visual information that supports perception.

In his early studies, Movshon contributed to the understanding of how the brain represents the form and motion of objects, identifying for the first time neural circuits computing motion perception in the brain's middle temporal area (MT). In a joint 1989 study, considered a seminal work in the field, Movshon and Newsome demonstrated that neurons in the MT visual area are responsible for perceptual judgments about direction. By monitoring neuron responses, they could accurately predict decisions about perception, thus linking perception to specific activity within a neural circuit. Newsome demonstrated that by altering the activity of neurons, perceptual performance could be either improved or diminished.

These studies proved that the activity of neurons in the brain's MT de
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Contact: James Devitt
james.devitt@nyu.edu
212-998-6808
New York University
Source:Eurekalert

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