Olaf Sporns

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    Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

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    Featured Author: Olaf Sporns

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    Olaf Sporns (born in Kiel, Germany, 1963) is a neuroscientist. He is best known for his work on the network principles that underlie the architecture and function of the human brain.

    After pursuing an undergraduate degree in biochemistry at the University of Tubingen in Germany, he received a PhD in neuroscience from Rockefeller University (New York) in 1990. Following his PhD, he conducted postdoctoral work at The Neurosciences Institute in New York and San Diego. Currently he is a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he served as the associate chair from 2005-2011. Sporns is also a member of the Graduate Programs in Cognitive Science and Neuroscience, and an adjunct professor in the School of Informatics and Computing. After winning an Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in 2002, he received the Distinguished Faculty Award from Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences in 2008. In 2011, he received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and was named an Indiana University Provost Professor. Sporns' main research area is theoretical and computational neuroscience, with an emphasis on complex systems, brain connectivity, and neurorobotics. He is particularly interested in how anatomical connections shape and constrain functional brain dynamics and how disruptions of anatomical connections may relate to neural and mental diseases. An essential step towards a better understanding of human brain networks is the creation of a complete connection map, which Sporns has called the human connectome. A major international effort to map the human connectome is currently underway. Over his career, Sporns has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications and the recent book Networks of the Brain, published by MIT Press. The book received an honorable mention at the 2010 American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence in the category Biomedicine and Neuroscience. Sporns serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including as a section editor for PLoS ONE and a deputy editor at PLoS Computational Biology. He is also a member of the Faculty of 1000 (Theoretical Neuroscience) and a Big Think Delphi Fellow.

    Scholarpedia articles:

    Brain connectivity. Scholarpedia, 2(10):4695. (2007).
    Complexity. Scholarpedia, 2(10):1623. (2007).
    Connectome. Scholarpedia, 5(2):5584. (2010).

    (Author profile by Nikos Green)

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