Heller Lecture Series in Computational Neuroscience

In 2002, Morven and Michael Heller from London, a generous and philanthropic family, decided to donate an annual sum of 15,000 pound to establish at the ICNC a high profile series of lectures entitled "The Heller Lecture Series in Computational Neuroscience". This series of lectures continues today at the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC). The primary aim of this unique lecture series is to acquaint the interested public with the most recent excitement in brain research. Each year, four leading researchers visit the Hebrew University for a week and deliver two talks, a lecture for the general public as well as a technical presentation at the weekly ELSC seminar.

The "Heller Lecture Series in Computational Neuroscience" rapidly became one of the most prestigious lecture series at the Hebrew University. It is a source of intellectual excitement for the many hundreds of attendees from all over the country who come to enjoy these lectures. Previous Heller lecturers include among others Nobel laureates Edvard Moser and Bert Sakmann as well as Patricia Churchland, Mickey Goldberg, Isabel Gauthier, Carla Shatz, Michale Fee, Arthur Konnerth, and Christof Koch. The lectures cover a fascinating range of topics that reflect the interests of researchers at ELSC, from molecular to cellular and systems neuroscience, cognitive psychology, modeling, and neurophilosophy.


The Hebrew University, and in particular ELSC, are indebted to the Hellers for their vision and generosity and for helping all of us to be aware of the miracle that is our brain.


Recorded Heller Lectures are available online on ELSC media channel

Heller 2018-2019
Speaker Topic
Suzana Herculano-Houzel Prof. Suzana Herculano-Houzel The costs and advantages of having a human brain or Why you really have to go to school
Kia Nobre Prof. Kia Nobre Perceiving with the benefit of hindsight
Prof. Michael Greenberg Prof. Michael Greenberg How nature and nurture conspire to control brain development and function 
Heller 2017-2018
Speaker Topic
Prof. Massimo Scanziani Prof. Massimo Scanziani Cortical Circuits of Vision
Heller Prof. Christine Petit Hereditary Hearing Impairment in Humans: From The Underlying Deficits To Emerging Gene Therapies
Prof. Henry Markram Prof. Henry Markram The inevitability of Brain Simulations
Heller 2016-2017
Speaker Topic
Eric Kandel Prof. Eric Kandel The Biology of Memory and Age Related Memory Loss
Prof. Lars Chittka Prof. Lars Chittka How Bees Learn from Each Other
Heller 2015-2016
Speaker Topic
Heller lecture 092016 Prof. Brian A. wandell Surprising stories about the living human brain
Prof. Matteo Carandini    Prof. Matteo Carandini Soloists and Choristers in the Orchestra of the Brain
Heller 2014-2015
Speaker Topic
Prof. Joshua Tenenbaum Prof. Joshua Tenenbaum Reverse engineering common sense in the human mind and brain
Prof. Drazen Prelec Prof. Drazen Prelec Rewarding honesty when truth is not verifiable
Prof. Edward M. Callaway Prof. Edward M. Callaway Molecular, Genetic and Viral Approaches for Linking Neural Circuit Structure and Function
Prof. Patricia Smith Churchland Prof. Patricia Smith Churchland The Brains Behind Morality
Heller 2013-2014
Speaker Topic
Yves Frégnac Prof. Yves Frégnac The Visual Brain: Computing through Complexity
Eve Marder Prof. Eve Marder Animal to animal variability and robust behavior to environmental challenge
Stanislas Dehaene  Prof. Stanislas Dehaene How learning to read changes the brain
Wolf Singer Prof. Wolf Singer Philosophical Implications of Brain Research: Discrepancies between first and third person perspective
Heller 2012-2013
Speaker Topic
Prof. Carla Shatz Prof. Carla Shatz Brain Circuit Tuning During Developmental Critical Periods
Prof. Xiaoqin Wang Prof. Xiaoqin Wang Pitch and Harmonicity Representations in Auditory Cortex
Prof. Arthur Konnerth  Prof. Arthur Konnerth Dendritic structure of sensory inputs to cortical neurons in vivo
Karel Svoboda Karel Svoboda Lighting up the neural circuits underlying tactile sensation
Heller 2011-2012
Speaker Topic
Alexander Borst  Prof. Alexander Borst Neural Circuits in the Cockpit of the Fly
Prof. Bart de Strooper Prof. Bart de Strooper The amyloid cascade hypothesis and opportunities for therapeutic developments
Prof. Jean-Pierre Changeux Prof. Jean-Pierre Changeux Experimental and Theoretical Approaches to Conscious Processing
Heller10052012 Prof. Robert Shapley Neuronal basis for the unitary perception of color and form
heller22122011 Prof. Dan Feldman Neural circuits for sparse sensory coding in cerebral cortex
heller0122011 Prof. Marla Feller From waves to vision: the development of functional circuits in the retina
Heller 2010-2011
Speaker Topic
Prof. Isabel Gauthier Prof. Isabel Gauthier What the perceptual expert cannot tell you
Prof. Eric Young Prof. Eric Young Plasticity in the brain is not always good: examples from hearing impairment
Prof. Michael Shadlen Prof. Michael Shadlen Time and belief: A neural mechanism of decision making
Prof. David Kleinfeld Prof. David Kleinfeld The nature and control of blood flow in the brain
Heller 2009-2010
Speaker Topic
Student Avatar Prof. Nancy Bonini Flying with Drosophila in the face of neurodegenerative disease
Student Avatar Edvard I. Moser How does the brain navigate in space
Student Avatar Tomaso Poggio Intelligence and Learning in Brains and Machines
Student Avatar Prof. Gero Miesenboeck The beginnings of optogenetics