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 2009-2010
Speaker Topic
Student Avatar Prof. Gero Miesenboeck The beginnings of optogenetics
Heller 2008-2009
Speaker Topic
Student Avatar Prof. Mark Ellisman Integrating neuroscience knowledge: Brain research in the digital age
Student Avatar Prof. Markus Meister Eyes smarter than scientists believed: Neural computations in the retina
Student Avatar Prof. Tobias Bonhoeffer How experience changes the circuitry of the brain
Heller 2007-2008
Speaker Topic
Student Avatar Prof. Gregory McCarthy The Social Brain: Perception, Motion and Emotion
Student Avatar Prof. Katrin Amunts Does bigger mean better? Intersubject variability in human brain anatomy
Student Avatar Prof. Giacomo Rizzolatti M.D Mirror neurons: a mechanism for understanding others
Student Avatar Prof. Steven Pinker The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature
Heller 2006-2007
Speaker Topic
Student Avatar Prof. Robert T. Knight Human Prefrontal Cortex and Behavior
Student Avatar Prof. Eric Knudsen Mechanisms of learning in the auditory system of the barn owl
Student Avatar Prof. Fred Lenz Human CNS Pain Pathways and Networks
Student Avatar Prof. Benedikt Grothe Measuring time - the ultimate challenge for sensory systems
Student Avatar Prof. Terrence J. Sejnowski A Critique of Pure Vision
Heller 2005-2006
Speaker Topic
Student Avatar Prof. Gina Turrigiano The self-tuning brain: homeostatic plasticity in neural microcircuits
Student Avatar Prof. Kevan Martin The Art of Neuroscience
Student Avatar Prof. Ann M. Graybiel Our Habitual Lives: How the Brain Makes and Breaks Habits
Heller 2004-2005
Speaker Topic
Student Avatar Prof. Winfried Denk Watching the brain compute and tracing its wires: new methods to solve old riddles
Student Avatar Prof. Claude P. Ghez, M.D. Doing many things at once: Controlling dynamics, kinematics and final position in reaching
Student Avatar Prof. Miguel A. L. Nicolelis Computing with Neural Ensembles
Student Avatar Prof. Mu-ming Poo Experience-dependent Modification of Developing Neural Circuits
Heller 2003-2004
Speaker Topic
Student Avatar Prof Christof Koch The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach
Student Avatar Prof. Jean-Pierre Changeux The Physiology of Truth: From Molecular Biology of the Brain to Consciousness
Student Avatar Prof. Philippe Ascher Shortcuts from molecules to behavior. The case of the NMDA receptor
Student Avatar Prof. Rodolfo Llinas The Dynamic Origin of Consciousness
Student Avatar Prof. Michale Fee Inside the Songbird's Brain: The Neural Control of Vocalization
Heller 2002-2003
Speaker Topic
Student Avatar Baroness Prof. Susan Greenfield How the Brain Generates Consciousness?
Student Avatar Prof. Bert Sakmann Cortical Microcircuits and their Plasticity
Student Avatar Prof. Peter Strick Basal Ganglia and Cerebellar 'Loops' with the Cerebral Cortex: Circuits for Movement, Cognition and Perception
Student Avatar Prof. Michael E. Goldberg Tracking the Spotlight of Attention: Psychophysics and Physiological Mechanisms