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Daniel Wolpert

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Daniel Wolpert
Born (1963-09-08) 8 September 1963 (age 60)
Alma mater
SpouseMary Anne Shorrock
Scientific career
ThesisOvercoming time delays in sensorimotor control (1992)
Doctoral advisorJohn Stein
Doctoral studentsSarah-Jayne Blakemore[2][3]

Daniel Mark Wolpert FRS[4] FMedSci (born 8 September 1963)[5] is a British medical doctor, neuroscientist and engineer, who has made important contributions in computational biology. He was Professor of Engineering at the University of Cambridge from 2005, and also became the Royal Society Noreen Murray Research Professorship in Neurobiology from 2013.[1][6][7][8][9][10][11][12] He is now Professor of Neurobiology at Columbia University.

Early life and education[edit]

Wolpert was educated at the Hall School and Westminster School.[5] He went on to the University of Cambridge to study mathematics, but after only a year he shifted to medicine, as it seemed to him "that medics were having much more fun than mathematicians."[13] He completed a Bachelor of Arts in medical sciences in 1985, then completed his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (BM BCh) in 1988, and PhD in physiology in 1992 from the University of Oxford.[14]


Wolpert pursued computational neuroscience as postdoctoral researcher (1992–1994) and McDonnell-Pew Fellow (1994–1995) in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[15] Daniel Wolpert on his qualification as medical doctor worked as Medical House officer in Oxford, in 1988. After completion of his research in 1995, he joined the faculty of Sobell Department of Neurophysiology, Institute of Neurology, University College London, as a Lecturer. He became Reader in Motor Neuroscience in 1999, and full Professor in 2002. He was appointed to Professor of Engineering at the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, in 2005. In 2013, he also became the Royal Society Noreen Murray Research Professorship in Neurobiology.[6] In 2018, he moved to Columbia University to become Professor of Neurobiology.

Awards and honours[edit]

Wolpert was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2012, his nomination reads

Daniel Wolpert is a world leader in the computational study of sensorimotor control and learning, transforming our understanding of how the brain controls movement. Combining theoretical and behavioural work, he has placed the field of sensorimotor control firmly within the probabilistic domain and shown how neural noise plays a pivotal role in determining both how we process information during action and how we generate actions. His empirical discoveries and theoretical work on internal models have shown how ubiquitous they are for a range of core processes from motor learning, through sensory processing to social cognition; and how disorders of internal models can lead to neuropsychological disorders.[4]

Other awards include:

Personal life[edit]

Wolpert is the son of South-African born developmental and evolutionary biologist Lewis Wolpert, and his wife Elizabeth (née Brownstein).

Since 1990, Wolpert has been married to Mary Anne Shorrock; they have two daughters.[5]


  1. ^ a b Daniel Wolpert publications indexed by Google Scholar
  2. ^ Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne (2000). Recognising the sensory consequences of one's own actions (PhD thesis). University College London.
  3. ^ Blakemore, S. J.; Wolpert, D. M.; Frith, C. D. (1999). "The cerebellum contributes to somatosensory cortical activity during self-produced tactile stimulation". NeuroImage. 10 (4): 448–59. doi:10.1006/nimg.1999.0478. PMID 10493902. S2CID 3034592.
  4. ^ a b Professor Daniel Mark Wolpert FMedSci FRS
  5. ^ a b c "WOLPERT, Prof. Daniel Mark". Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press.(subscription required)
  6. ^ a b "Sensorimotor Learning Group (Wolpertlab): News". Computational & Biological Learning Lab, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge. 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  7. ^ Daniel Wolpert's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  8. ^ Wolpert, D. M.; Ghahramani, Z; Jordan, M. I. (1995). "An internal model for sensorimotor integration". Science. 269 (5232): 1880–2. Bibcode:1995Sci...269.1880W. doi:10.1126/science.7569931. PMID 7569931.
  9. ^ Harris, C. M.; Wolpert, D. M. (1998). "Signal-dependent noise determines motor planning". Nature. 394 (6695): 780–4. Bibcode:1998Natur.394..780H. doi:10.1038/29528. PMID 9723616. S2CID 4429717.
  10. ^ Wolpert, D. M.; Kawato, M. (1998). "Multiple paired forward and inverse models for motor control". Neural Networks. 11 (7–8): 1317–29. CiteSeerX doi:10.1016/S0893-6080(98)00066-5. PMID 12662752.
  11. ^ Daniel Wolpert at TED
  12. ^ The real reason for brains by Daniel Wolpert on YouTube
  13. ^ "13th Queen Square Symposium: Interview with Professor Daniel Wolpert". University College London. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  14. ^ Wolpert, Daniel Mark (1992). Overcoming time delays in visuomotor control (PhD thesis). University of Oxford.
  15. ^ "CURRICULUM VITAE" (PDF). University of Cambridge. 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  16. ^ "Daniel Wolpert | Royal Society".

External links[edit]