June 10, 1985
Berkeley – The first Golden Brain Award, honoring original discoveries in vision and brain research, has been won by Semir Zeki, professor of neurobiology at University College, London. The award is given by the Minerva Foundation, based in Berkeley, California.
Zeki has discovered the specialized functions of certain areas in the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for vision in the brain, according -to Elwin Marg, the foundation's executive officer. These areas appear the same under the microscope but perform dramatically different tasks for seeing, such as analyzing movement and direction and stabilizing the perception of color.
Zeki graduated from University College in 1964 and earned his Ph.D. in anatomy there in 1967. He joined the College's teaching staff in 1969 and became professor in the Department of Anatomy and Embryology in 1981. From 1975 to 1980 Zeki was also Henry Head Research Fellow of the Royal Society, London.
His other honors include the Hocart Prize, in 1961, awarded by the Royal Anthropological Institute. He is a Fellow of the Institute for Neuroscience in New York City and a member of the Board of Advisers of the Beit Memorial Trust.
The Golden Brain was designed and crafted by Florence Resnikoff, professor of art and head of the Metal Arts Program of the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland.