Prof. Buzsaki, Gyorgy
Many concepts in modern neuroscience can be traced back to Buzsáki. His work has contributed to the emerging understanding of the dynamics of hippocampal system and the recognition of the importance of temporal firing properties in the formation of neural codes. Buzsáki identified a hierarchical organization of brain oscillations and uncovered their mechanisms systematically. He developed a conceptual framework to understand the fundamental synaptic mechanisms underlying theta, gamma, and sharp-wave ripple oscillations. His overarching hypothesis is that the numerous rhythms that the brain perpetually generates are responsible for segmentation of neural information and communication across brain regions. He proposed how these rhythms support a 'brain syntax’, a physiological basis of cognitive operations. Buzsaki’s work changed how we think about information encoding in the healthy and diseased brain, such as epilepsy and psychiatric diseases. His most influential work is known as the two-stage model of memory trace consolidation, with hippocampal sharp wave ripples serving as a transfer mechanism from hippocampus to neocortex. Several laboratories worldwide have adopted his framework and provided supporting evidence for the two-stage model of memory in both experimental animals and human subjects. Over the years, the ‘ripple’ pattern has become a quantifiable biomarker of cognition. Relevant to clinical translation, hippocampal ripples, along with other brain rhythms that his laboratory has identified, lend themselves to diagnosis of disease and drug discovery.
Throughout his career, Buzsáki has been a strong advocate for studying the intact brain in its natural state, a view that has been widely adopted and transformed the way neuroscience is done today. His characteristic research style combines mathematical modeling with skilled multidisciplinary experimental design that includes electrophysiology, morphology, optogenetics, and behavioral analysis in the awake rodent. Buzsáki is known as an innovative and generous inventor of new technologies to probe brain activity and is at the forefront of the development of an open-access framework. He is among the top 0.1 % most-cited neuroscientists (Web of Science).