The American Philosophical Society (APS) has awarded New York University neuroscientist J. Anthony Movshon its 2013 Karl Spencer Lashley Award in recognition of his “pioneering work on the neuroscience of vision.”
Movshon, director of New York University’s Center for Neural Science, is the second NYU neuroscience professor to receive the Lashley Award in three years—Joseph LeDoux received the honor in 2011 in recognition of his “seminal studies of the neural mechanisms of emotional learning, particularly fear learning, and fear memory.”
Movshon, a faculty member in NYU’s Center for Neural Science and Department of Psychology, will receive the award at a November ceremony during the Society’s bi-annual meeting in Philadelphia.
In announcing its selection, APS cited Movshon’s “studies of how neurons in the cerebral cortex process visual information and how cortical information processing enables seeing,” adding that his research “has shed light on the neural basis of amblyopia—the most common form of blindness—and how the effects of amblyopia might be mitigated through early intervention.”
Much of Movshon’s research has centered on the organization and function of area V1, the first region of the brain’s cerebral cortex to receive visual information from the external world.
“He developed the leading quantitative descriptions of V1 neuronal activity, characterized the linear and nonlinear properties of visual signals,” APS noted, “and developed quantitative descriptions of how neurons in higher cortical areas combine inputs from lower cortical levels to support the perception of global motion patterns.”
The Lashley Award, established in 1957, recognizes work in the area of integrative neuroscience, which explores how brain systems give rise to behavior.
Movshon is a former Howard Hughes Investigator and an adjunct professor at NYU Langone Medical Center. He joined the NYU faculty in 1975. He is a University Professor, a title conferred upon outstanding NYU scholars whose work reflects exceptional breadth, and a Silver Professor, a designation given to outstanding scholars in the university’s Faculty of Arts and Science. Movshon, who has a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate from the University of Cambridge, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In 2010, Movshon received the António Champalimaud Vision Award for his work on how the brain reconstructs images. The Award, which he shared with William T. Newsome, a Stanford University neuroscientist, 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.