Andrew D. Huberman

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Andrew D. Huberman
Andrew D. Huberman, Ph.D..jpg
Born (1975-09-26) September 26, 1975 (age 46)
Palo Alto, California, U.S.
CitizenshipUnited States of America
Alma materUniversity of California, Davis (Ph.D.)
University of California, Berkeley (M.A.)
University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A.)
AwardsMcKnight Foundation Neuroscience Scholar Award (2013)
Pew Charitable Trusts Biomedical Scholar Award (2013)
ARVO Cogan Award (2017)
Scientific career
InstitutionsStanford University, University of California, San Diego
Doctoral advisorBarbara Chapman
InfluencesBen Barres, Richard Feynman, Oliver Sacks

Andrew D. Huberman (born September 26, 1975 in Palo Alto, California) is an American neuroscientist and associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine who has made many contributions to the brain development, brain plasticity, and neural regeneration and repair fields. Much of his work is focused on the visual system, including the mechanisms controlling light-mediated activation of the circadian and autonomic arousal centers in the brain, as well as brain control over conscious vision or sight.[1][2]

Huberman has been credited with coining the term "Non-Sleep Deep Rest" (NSDR), referring to practices that place the brain and body into shallow sleep to accelerate neuroplasticity and help offset mental and physical fatigue.[3][4][5]

Huberman was awarded the McKnight Foundation Neuroscience Scholar Award (2013),[6] and a Biomedical Scholar Award from the Pew Charitable Trusts.[7] He received the 2017 ARVO Cogan Award for his contributions to the fields of vision science and efforts to regenerate the visual system and cure blindness.[8]

Huberman is an elected member of the National Institutes of Health Grants Advisory Panel "Neurobiology of Visual Processes",[9] and the editorial boards for Current Biology,[10] The Journal of Neuroscience, The Journal of Comparative Neurology, Current Opinion in Neurobiology, Cell Reports,[11] and Neural Development.[12] He is a member of Faculty of 1000.[13]

In January 2021, Huberman started the "Huberman Lab Podcast", focused on neuroscience and science-based tools.[14][15][16] In it Huberman has interviewed the scientists Robert Sapolsky, David Sinclair, Lex Fridman, Samer Hattar, Matthew Walker, Karl Deisseroth, Alia Crum, Anna Lembke and David Spiegel.


Huberman graduated from Henry M. Gunn High School in 1993. He received a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1998, an M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2000, and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of California, Davis, in 2004.[17]

Graduate and postdoctoral research[edit]

From 1998–2000, Huberman worked in the laboratory of Irving Zucker, as well as working with Marc Breedlove, at University of California, Berkeley, as part of a team that defined how early androgen exposure impacts development,[18] and he performed the first experiments defining the structure of binocular visual pathways that set the circadian clock in the hypothalamus.[19] From 2000-2004, working as a Ph.D. student in the laboratory of Barbara Chapman at the Center for Neuroscience at the University of California, Davis, Huberman discovered that neural activity and axon guidance molecules work in concert to ensure proper wiring of binocular maps in the brain.[20][21][22] Huberman was a Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow researcher in the laboratory of Ben A. Barres from 2005 to 2010.

Huberman Laboratory[edit]


Huberman was an assistant professor of neurobiology and neuroscience at University of California, San Diego, from 2011 to 2015. His lab pioneered using genetic tools to study the visual system function, development and disease.[23][24][25][26][27][28] Among the Huberman Lab's discoveries was the finding that specific types of retinal neurons degenerate early in glaucoma[29] a common blinding disease depleting sight in over 70 million people, for which there is no cure.

After moving to Stanford in 2016, Huberman discovered and published[30] the use of non-invasive methods such as visual stimulation can enhance regeneration of damaged retinal neurons, leading to partial recovery from blindness, especially when the stimulation is paired with specific forms of gene therapy. The work was covered extensively in the popular press, including Time magazine and Scientific American and is part of the National Eye Institute's Audacious Goals Initiative to restore vision to the blind. The Huberman Lab extended those findings to develop a human clinical trial using virtual reality technology to stimulate regeneration and plasticity of damaged retinal and other visual system neurons.[31]

In 2017, the Huberman Lab created a virtual reality platform for probing the neural mechanisms underlying pathological fear and anxiety. That work involved collecting 360-degree video of various fear inducing scenarios such as heights and claustrophobia as well as atypical fear inducing situations such as swimming with great white sharks. The Huberman VR platform is aimed at making discoveries that will lead to developing new tools for humans to adjust their state in order to promote adaptive coping with stress. The first installment of that work was published in Current Biology, in 2021[32] as a collaboration with neurosurgeon and neuroscientist Edward Chang (UCSF), wherein they reported that specific patterns of insular cortex brain activity correlate with and may predict anxiety responses.[33]

In May, 2018, Huberman Laboratory published an article[34] in the journal Nature reporting their discovery of two new mammalian brain circuits: one that promotes fear and paralysis, and another that promotes "courageous"/confrontational reaction, to visually-evoked threats. That discovery prompted the now ongoing exploration of how these brain regions may be involved in humans suffering from anxiety-related disorders such as phobias and generalized anxiety.[35]

In 2020, Huberman Lab initiated a collaboration with the laboratory of David Spiegel in the Stanford Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, to systematically study how particular patterns of respiration (i.e., breathing/breathwork) and the visual system influence the autonomic nervous system, stress, and other brain states, including sleep.[36][37]

Honors and awards[edit]

  • McKnight Foundation Scholar[38]
  • Pew Biomedical Scholar[39]
  • Catalyst for a Cure Team Member[40]
  • ARVO Cogan Award for Contributions to Vision Science and Ophthalmology[41]


  1. ^ "Stanford Profile".
  2. ^ "Publications".
  3. ^ Steen, Jeff (2022-03-18). "I Tried Sundar Pichai's Non-Meditation Technique to Curb My Stress. It's 10X Better Than a Morning Routine". Retrieved 2022-03-23.
  4. ^ Jackson, Sarah. "Google CEO Sundar Pichai says he uses NSDR, or 'non-sleep deep rest,' to unwind. Here's what it is and how it works". Business Insider. Retrieved 2022-03-23.
  5. ^ Eichenlaub, Jean-Baptiste; Jarosiewicz, Beata; Saab, Jad; Franco, Brian; Kelemen, Jessica; Halgren, Eric; Hochberg, Leigh R.; Cash, Sydney S. (2020-05-05). "Replay of Learned Neural Firing Sequences during Rest in Human Motor Cortex". Cell Reports. 31 (5): 107581. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107581. ISSN 2211-1247. PMC 7337233. PMID 32375031.
  6. ^ "McKnight Foundation Neuroscience Scholar Award".
  7. ^ "Pew Charitable Trusts".
  8. ^ "Cogan Award".
  9. ^ "eRA Browser Warning". Retrieved 2021-07-30.
  10. ^ "Advisory board: Current Biology".
  11. ^ "Cell Reports".
  12. ^ "Neural Development".
  13. ^ "Faculty Opinions".
  14. ^ Mehta, Stephanie (2021-11-30). "Try Riz Ahmed's hack for getting a good night's sleep". Fast Company. Retrieved 2022-01-10.
  15. ^ Stillman, Jessica (2021-07-12). "10 YouTube Channels That Will Make You Smarter". Retrieved 2022-01-10.
  16. ^ "12 Podcasts to Listen to as Commutes and Classes Start Up Again". Stanford Graduate School of Business. Retrieved 2022-01-10.
  17. ^ "Andrew Huberman | Huberman Lab". Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  18. ^ Williams, T. J.; Pepitone, M. E.; Christensen, S. E.; Cooke, B. M.; Huberman, A. D.; Breedlove, N. J.; Breedlove, T. J.; Jordan, C. L.; Breedlove, S. M. (2000-03-30). "Finger-length ratios and sexual orientation". Nature. 404 (6777): 455–456. Bibcode:2000Natur.404..455W. doi:10.1038/35006555. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 10761903. S2CID 205005405.
  19. ^ Muscat, Louise; Huberman, Andrew D.; Jordan, Cynthia L.; Morin, Lawrence P. (2003-11-24). "Crossed and uncrossed retinal projections to the hamster circadian system". The Journal of Comparative Neurology. 466 (4): 513–524. doi:10.1002/cne.10894. ISSN 1096-9861. PMID 14566946. S2CID 9722540.
  20. ^ Huberman, Andrew D.; Feller, Marla B.; Chapman, Barbara (2008-01-01). "Mechanisms Underlying Development of Visual Maps and Receptive Fields". Annual Review of Neuroscience. 31 (1): 479–509. doi:10.1146/annurev.neuro.31.060407.125533. PMC 2655105. PMID 18558864.
  21. ^ Huberman, Andrew D; Murray, Karl D; Warland, David K; Feldheim, David A; Chapman, Barbara (2005). "Ephrin-As mediate targeting of eye-specific projections to the lateral geniculate nucleus". Nature Neuroscience. 8 (8): 1013–1021. doi:10.1038/nn1505. PMC 2652399. PMID 16025110.
  22. ^ Huberman, Andrew D.; Speer, Colenso M.; Chapman, Barbara (2006-10-19). "Spontaneous retinal activity mediates development of ocular dominance columns and binocular receptive fields in v1". Neuron. 52 (2): 247–254. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2006.07.028. ISSN 0896-6273. PMC 2647846. PMID 17046688.
  23. ^ Huberman, Andrew D.; Manu, Mihai; Koch, Selina M.; Susman, Michael W.; Lutz, Amanda Brosius; Ullian, Erik M.; Baccus, Stephen A.; Barres, Ben A. (2008-08-14). "Architecture and activity-mediated refinement of axonal projections from a mosaic of genetically identified retinal ganglion cells". Neuron. 59 (3): 425–438. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2008.07.018. ISSN 1097-4199. PMC 8532044. PMID 18701068. S2CID 1519009.
  24. ^ Huberman, Andrew D.; Wei, Wei; Elstrott, Justin; Stafford, Ben K.; Feller, Marla B.; Barres, Ben A. (2009-05-14). "Genetic identification of an On-Off direction-selective retinal ganglion cell subtype reveals a layer-specific subcortical map of posterior motion". Neuron. 62 (3): 327–334. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2009.04.014. ISSN 1097-4199. PMC 3140054. PMID 19447089.
  25. ^ Dhande, Onkar S.; Estevez, Maureen E.; Quattrochi, Lauren E.; El-Danaf, Rana N.; Nguyen, Phong L.; Berson, David M.; Huberman, Andrew D. (2013-11-06). "Genetic dissection of retinal inputs to brainstem nuclei controlling image stabilization". The Journal of Neuroscience. 33 (45): 17797–17813. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2778-13.2013. ISSN 1529-2401. PMC 3818553. PMID 24198370.
  26. ^ Osterhout, Jessica A.; Josten, Nicko; Yamada, Jena; Pan, Feng; Wu, Shaw-wen; Nguyen, Phong L.; Panagiotakos, Georgia; Inoue, Yukiko U.; Egusa, Saki F. (2011-08-25). "Cadherin-6 mediates axon-target matching in a non-image-forming visual circuit". Neuron. 71 (4): 632–639. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2011.07.006. ISSN 1097-4199. PMC 3513360. PMID 21867880.
  27. ^ Cruz-Martín, Alberto; El-Danaf, Rana N.; Osakada, Fumitaka; Sriram, Balaji; Dhande, Onkar S.; Nguyen, Phong L.; Callaway, Edward M.; Ghosh, Anirvan; Huberman, Andrew D. (2014-03-20). "A dedicated circuit links direction-selective retinal ganglion cells to the primary visual cortex". Nature. 507 (7492): 358–361. Bibcode:2014Natur.507..358C. doi:10.1038/nature12989. ISSN 1476-4687. PMC 4143386. PMID 24572358.
  28. ^ Osterhout, Jessica A.; Stafford, Benjamin K.; Nguyen, Phong L.; Yoshihara, Yoshihiro; Huberman, Andrew D. (2015-05-20). "Contactin-4 mediates axon-target specificity and functional development of the accessory optic system". Neuron. 86 (4): 985–999. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2015.04.005. ISSN 1097-4199. PMC 4706364. PMID 25959733.
  29. ^ El-Danaf, Rana N.; Huberman, Andrew D. (2015-02-11). "Characteristic patterns of dendritic remodeling in early-stage glaucoma: evidence from genetically identified retinal ganglion cell types". The Journal of Neuroscience. 35 (6): 2329–2343. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1419-14.2015. ISSN 1529-2401. PMC 6605614. PMID 25673829.
  30. ^ Lim, Jung-Hwan A; Stafford, Benjamin K; Nguyen, Phong L; Lien, Brian V; Wang, Chen; Zukor, Katherine; He, Zhigang; Huberman, Andrew D (2016). "Neural activity promotes long-distance, target-specific regeneration of adult retinal axons". Nature Neuroscience. 19 (8): 1073–1084. doi:10.1038/nn.4340. PMC 5708130. PMID 27399843.
  31. ^ "A daredevil researcher's quest: to restore sight lost to glaucoma using VR". STAT. 2018-07-02. Retrieved 2021-07-26.
  32. ^ Yilmaz Balban, Melis; Cafaro, Erin; Saue-Fletcher, Lauren; Washington, Marlon J.; Bijanzadeh, Maryam; Lee, A. Moses; Chang, Edward F.; Huberman, Andrew D. (February 2021). "Human Responses to Visually Evoked Threat". Current Biology. 31 (3): 601–612.e3. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2020.11.035. ISSN 0960-9822. PMC 8407368. PMID 33242389. S2CID 227165336.
  33. ^ Balban, Melis Yilmaz; Cafaro, Erin; Saue-Fletcher, Lauren; Washington, Marlon J.; Bijanzadeh, Maryam; Lee, A. Moses; Chang, Edward F.; Huberman, Andrew D. (2021-02-08). "Human Responses to Visually Evoked Threat". Current Biology. 31 (3): 601–612.e3. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2020.11.035. ISSN 0960-9822. PMC 8407368. PMID 33242389. S2CID 227165336.
  34. ^ Salay, Lindsey D.; Ishiko, Nao; Huberman, Andrew D. (2018-05-02). "A midline thalamic circuit determines reactions to visual threat". Nature. 557 (7704): 183–189. Bibcode:2018Natur.557..183S. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0078-2. ISSN 1476-4687. PMC 8442544. PMID 29720647. S2CID 13742480.
  35. ^ Goldman, Bruce (2017-09-05). "Seeing is believing (unfortunately): A project designed to study visually induced fear". Scope. Retrieved 2021-07-26.
  36. ^ Wapner, Jessica. "Vision and Breathing May Be the Secrets to Surviving 2020". Scientific American. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  37. ^ "The Science of Stress, Calm and Sleep with Andrew Huberman". Youtube. Stanford Alumni. 2020-11-24.
  38. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 March 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  39. ^ "Andrew D. Huberman, Ph.D."
  40. ^ "Catalyst for a Cure 2016 Research Progress".
  41. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]