The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation proudly presents the 2010 Neuroscience Prize to Robert Wurtz for his pioneering work concerning the neural bases of visual processing in primates.
Robert Wurtz was the first to realize that neurons in the visual system could be studied at both the cortical and subcortical level in awake primates trained to generate different forms of eye movements. All current work on visual cognition, looking at phenomena like attention, motion perception, and motivation, was made possible through these initial studies. Dr. Wurtz´s studies have elucidated how different forebrain structures contribute to visual processing, and how subcortical structures initiate eye movements.
Robert Wurtz’s work has inspired the research of many others in the broad field of cognitive neuroscience and serves as an exemplar of physiological approaches to the understanding of complex forms of behavior.