Academy Fellow Ray Dolan FRS FMedSci, Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Director of the Max Plank Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing at University College London, has been awarded The Brain Prize for 2017.
Professor Dolan shares the prize with fellow neuroscientists Professor Peter Dayan of the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit and Professor Wolfram Shultz of the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, both at the University of Cambridge.
The Brain Prize, awarded by the Lundbeck Foundation in Denmark, is worth one million Euros. Awarded annually, it recognises one or more scientists who have distinguished themselves by an outstanding contribution to neuroscience.
The three scientists were recognised for their analysis of how the brain recognises and processes reward. The capacity to link reward to events and actions is the foundation of human and animal survival, and problems with the processing of reward lie at the heart of many neurological and psychiatric disorders.
On the award of the prize, Professor Dolan said, “I am immensely gratified that the Lundbeck Foundation acknowledged the importance of this work for understanding psychiatric illness,”
Professor Dolan, was elected a Fellow of the Academy in 2000 and is a leader in the development and use of methods for imaging the human brain, in order to understand the mechanisms of emotion, learning and decision-making. His work is helping researchers understand a range of psychiatric problems including behavioural impulsivity and apathy.