The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Haim Sompolinsky


William N. Skirball Professor of Neuroscience

Sompolinsky’s research goal is to uncover the fundamental principles of the organization, the dynamics and the function of the brain, viewing the brain through multiscale lenses, spanning the molecular, the cellular, and the circuit levels. To achieve this goal, Sompolinsky has developed new theoretical approaches to computational neuroscience based on the principles and methods of statistical physics, and physics of dynamical and stochastic systems. This new field, Neurophysics, builds in part on Sompolinsky's earlier work on critical phenomena, random systems, spin glasses, and chaos. His research areas cover theoretical and computational investigations of cortical dynamics, sensory processing, motor control, neuronal population coding, long and short-term memory, and neural learning. The highlights of his research include theories and models of local cortical circuits, visual cortex, associative memory, statistical mechanics of learning, chaos and excitation-inhibition balance in neuronal networks, principles of neural population codes, statistical mechanics of compressed sensing and sparse coding in neuronal systems, and the Tempotron model of spike time based neural learning. He also studies the neuronal mechanisms of volition and the impact of physics and neuroscience on the foundations of human freedom and agency.


Member, Executive Board of Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, Hebrew University
Director, Swartz Theoretical Neuroscience Program, Harvard University Member, Steering Committee, Center for Brain Science, Harvard University Faculty, Methods in Computational Neuroscience Course, Woods Hole Member, USA Society for Neuroscience

Associate Editor, Neural Computation
Member, Israel Society for Neuroscience
Member, Federation of European Neuroscience Societies
Founding member of the Interdisciplinary Center for Neural Computation (ICNC), Hebrew University
Director, ICNC
Member, International Review Committee of the Department of Physics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich
Faculty, Advanced Course in Computational Neuroscience, IBRO/FENS Member, Executive Board of ICNC

2011 Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience of the US Society for Neuroscience

2008 Landau Prize for Brain Science
2008 Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 2007 William N. Skirball Chair in Neuroscience, Hebrew University
2005 Hebrew University Presidential Award for Outstanding Researcher
1980 Rothschild Fellowship for Postdoctoral Research
1979 Chaim Weizmann Post-Doctoral Fellowship
1977 Sir Isaac Wolfson Prize for Excellence in Doctoral Research, Bar-Ilan University 1974 Bar-Ilan University Fellowship for Excellence
1973 Landau Prize for Outstanding M.Sc. Research
1972 Spiers Prize for Best Undergraduate Student, Bar-Ilan University

Recent publications










Contact information

Edmond J. Safra Campus, The Hebrew University
The Suzanne and and Charles Goodman Brain Sciences Building, Suite 1201
Jerusalem 9190401 Israel

Phone: 0548820754