Royal Society Fellows win Brain Prize for ground-breaking research on reward and behaviour

07 March 2017

Two Royal Society Fellows, Professor Ray Dolan and Professor Wolfram Schultz, have won the prestigious Brain Prize alongside Professor Peter Dayan for their analysis of how the brain recognises and processes reward. Their work has far-reaching implications for understanding human behaviour, including decision-making, gambling, drug addiction, compulsive behaviour and schizophrenia.

The Brain Prize is awarded by the Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Foundation in Denmark.

The research by Professor Schultz has focused on the activity of the neurotransmitter dopamine, and developed methods for recording activity from neurons that use dopamine to transmit information to other neurons.   Professor Dolan’s work involves using innovative ways to determine how dopamine affects brain function, including its impact on memory function and the disposition to take risks. This work helps researchers understand a range of psychiatric problems, for example behavioural impulsivity and apathy.

The winners will share the prize of one million Euros, which will be presented to them at a ceremony on 4 May in Copenhagen by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.