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Prof Karl Friston
Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL
12 Queen Square
  • Professor of Imaging Neuroscience/Wellcome Principal Research Fellow
  • Imaging Neuroscience
  • Institute of Neurology
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences
Research Summary

Karl Friston is a theoretical neuroscientist and authority on brain imaging. He invented statistical parametric mapping (SPM), voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and dynamic causal modelling (DCM). These contributions were motivated by schizophrenia research and theoretical studies of value-learning – formulated as the dysconnection hypothesis of schizophrenia. Mathematical contributions include variational Laplacian procedures and generalized filtering for hierarchical Bayesian model inversion. Friston currently works on models of functional integration in the human brain and the principles that underlie neuronal interactions. His main contribution to theoretical neurobiology is a free-energy principle for action and perception (active inference). Friston received the first Young Investigators Award in Human Brain Mapping (1996) and was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (1999). In 2000 he was President of the international Organization of Human Brain Mapping. In 2003 he was awarded the Minerva Golden Brain Award and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2006. In 2008 he received a Medal, Collège de France and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of York in 2011. He became of Fellow of the Society of Biology in 2012, received the Weldon Memorial prize and Medal in 2013 for contributions to mathematical biology and was elected as a member of EMBO (excellence in the life sciences) in 2014.

Academic Background
1980 BA Bachelor of Arts University of Cambridge
  MA Master of Arts University of Cambridge
1988 MRCPsych Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Psychiatry To be updated
1983 MBBS Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery – Clinical Medicine King's College London
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