Prof. Kenji Doya Awarded Donald O. Hebb Award
The Donald O. Hebb Award recognizes “outstanding achievements in biological learning.” This year’s award was presented to Prof. Doya at the World Congress on Computational Intelligence (WCCI) 2018 in Rio de Janeiro last month.
Prof. Doya is the leader of OIST’s Neural Computation Unit, and has conducted research on everything from the role of striatal neurons in reinforcement learning, serotonin promoting waiting for rewards, to dynamic Bayesian inference in the cerebral cortex.
A graduate of the University of Tokyo, he has conducted research that has taken him from UC San Diego, the Salk Institute, and the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International. His work bridges the worlds of artificial intelligence and neurobiology, looking at problems in one field to inform discoveries in the other.
Currently heading his own unit at OIST, Prof. Doya reflected on the teamwork that made this success possible: “This couldn’t have been accomplished without the hard work of our lab members’ days and nights, and I highly appreciate that,” he said. “The flexible internal funding at OIST was essential for starting those de novo research projects, as well as the quality research support to get them done.”
Prof Doya also wished to thank his colleague as co-editor-in-chief of Neural Networks journal, Prof. DeLiang Wang of Ohio State University, who recommended him for the award.
As a winner of the award, Prof. Doya joins some esteemed company, such as unsupervised feature learning pioneer Prof. Christoph von der Malsburg; Prof. Bernard Widrow, who pioneered supervised error-gradient learning; and Prof. Andrew G. Barto, who broke new ground in the field of reinforcement learning.
The INNS is widely recognized as the leading organization covering theoretical neuroscience and computational intelligence, with members from all over the world.
Prof Doya has picked some of his research highlights:
- (2011) Neural Computation Unit researchers find a new role of serotonin in regulation of patience
- (2015) Calling the Shots: The Brain’s Decision-making Structure
- (2016) Finding Your Way Around in an Uncertain World
- (2018) Predicting the Future: “Striosome” Neurons in the Basal Ganglia Play a Key Role in Learning
- (2018) Wait For It: Serotonin and Confidence at the Root of Patience in New Study