Social Question

nikipedia's avatar

Can you name a neuroscientist?

Asked by nikipedia (28068points) April 30th, 2011
30 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

A friend asked me recently who the most famous neuroscientist in the world is. Since I know lots of neuroscientists, I picked one who won the Nobel Prize, but I’m not actually sure he’s the most famous.

So, without googling, can you name a neuroscientist? If you can name more than one, which do you think is the most famous?

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philosopher's avatar

I know they post on all the time.
I don’t remember names only research.
I know Richardo Dolmetch has done some interesting autism research because we exchanged emails but he is not famous. He is not a NeuroScientist.
Occasionally I request information on autism research.
Some researchers do answer and I am grateful for the information.

downtide's avatar

I can’t name any. Even if I google, I won’t have heard of any of the results.

math_nerd's avatar

Fredric Baur is the first and only one that comes to mind.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

E. Mark Haacke, PhD
Director of MR Research Facility
Dr. Haacke’s research interests include: MR Angiography, Susceptibility Weighted Imaging (SWI) to study vascular disease, Stroke Imaging, Better Detection of Cancer and Brain Function. He supervises graduates students in engineering, computer science and medical physics. He and Dr. Sehgal work together to enhance current clinical methods and take research ideas into the clinical realm
I have participated in 2 of his imaging studies and he has consulted with my interventional radiologists concering my case.

bkcunningham's avatar

Mark Wallace, Ph.D. He is the director of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute and the director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program at Vanderbilt.

thorninmud's avatar

V.S. Ramachandran would be the most famous, I’m guessing. He seems to have penetrated into the popular consciousness more than others.

ratboy's avatar

Oliver Sacks is very well known from his popular books and “New Yorker Magazine” articles.
Francisco Varela must be well known since I’ve heard of him.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Antonio Damasio
Anne Churchland
Mark Churchland
Francis Crick

These are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Of those four, Crick is the most famous. He is dead, however, so I suppose Damasio is the next most famous on the list. Most people are more familiar with the Churchland’s parents, Paul and Patricia, who work on the intersections between neuroscience and philosophy.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, I see. Too bad. I was going to suggest that Solomon or Sophie might be a good first name, with a middle name in honor of someone famous in the field. Unfortunately I couldn’t think of any.

Sorry, @nikipedia, I’m teasing you a little, which I wouldn’t be if this were not a Social question. I’ve heard of Francis Crick, certainly, and I know Oliver Sacks’s work but didn’t think he was a neuroscientist. I suppose this is like asking someone at the other end of the academic spectrum to name a famous literary critic.

nikipedia's avatar

Great answers so far, thanks everyone! Keep ‘em coming :)

@SavoirFaire, you raise an interesting one with Francis Crick. He’s definitely famous, but I wouldn’t say he’s famous for being a neuroscientist—that was something he got into after he was already famous. So I’m not sure if he counts?

@Jeruba, I love it. If ever I make a little neuroscientist those will be at the top of my list!

jrpowell's avatar

@nikipedia :: Mine was not a great answer. I demand to be punished.

nikipedia's avatar

@johnpowell you owe me a beer.

Kardamom's avatar

I’m pretty sure Mayim Bialik is a nueroscientist. She used to play Blossom on TV when she was a kid, then she went to school, I think at Yale, and got her Ph.D. Now she’s playing a smarty on The Big Bang Theory as Sheldon’s girlfriend.

Cruiser's avatar

I don’t know any neuroscientists but I do know that if Natalie Portman wasn’t so busy acting she might be one as she went to Harvard and studied neuroscience.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@nikipedia That’s a good point. I knew him first in that capacity because I got interested in neuroscience through philosophy of mind. But I suppose he’s not famous qua neuroscientist, so presumably he is not the most famous neuroscientist.

Now how about Simon LeVay. Is he famous, or infamous?

bob_'s avatar

From the dudes in this list, I had only heard of Freud (though I would have thought of him as a psychologist, which I guess shows how little I know about the subject), and Pavlov, because of his dogs.

Blackberry's avatar

Isn’t Sam Harris a neuroscientist?

iamthemob's avatar

Ah damn… you’re going to make me go back to my NeuroPhys textbook aren’t you…;-)

crisw's avatar

Ramachandran and Sacks were my first thoughts as well. Also Simon LeVay.

bob_'s avatar

@iamthemob Yo, that’s cheating, dude!

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Blackberry No, Sam Harris is a hack.

obvek's avatar

Dr. Frankenstein

rooeytoo's avatar

@nikipedia is the most famous one I can think of!

augustlan's avatar

I couldn’t think of his name, so I had to cheat and go find the TED talk he gave. Turns out it was VS Ramachandran. Fascinating talk.

And you, @nikipedia. That’s it. I’m tapped out, now.

downtide's avatar

The only ones people have mentioned that I’ve heard of at all are Freud and Pavlov. I had no idea they were neuroscientists though. I thought Freud was a psyciatrist and Pavlov was a behavioural psychologist… {shrugs}...

Blackberry's avatar

@SavoirFaire Oh….lol. Why is that? I really like him – . -

sliceswiththings's avatar

I think Mark Bear wrote my Neuroscience textbook…

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Blackberry I find Harris’ work to be extremely shallow. He attempts to blend philosophy and science—a task I find worthwhile—but shows very little interest in having any sort of deep understanding of opposing views and only a slightly deeper interest in understanding his own views and the problems they have historically faced. He is careful to draw important distinctions at the beginning of his works, but fails to keep note of them throughout. This allows him to deflect criticism in a rather careless—and purely rhetorical—way without having to actually consider responses to his arguments. This is the same sort of self-sealing reasoning he accuses his opponents of employing, and it is no more defensible when he uses it. It makes for exciting reading to those who want to agree with him, but not for those who are looking for well-reasoned arguments.

Jeruba's avatar

I’m mildly disappointed that no one else wants to name them.

iamthemob's avatar

@Jeruba – I don’t think it’s “wants to” that’s the issue…;-)

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