Professor Daniel Wolpert FMedSci FRS

Daniel Wolpert is a world leader in understanding how the brain controls movement and the calculations it has to carry out in order to achieve this. He uses engineering approaches to dissect how we process information during action and how we generate actions, combining computational modelling and Bayesian probability theory with robotic and virtual reality techniques.

He believes that the chief role of the brain is to produce complex and adaptable movements. In his research, Daniel reverse engineers how the brain controls movement, showing that this is achieved through combining sensory feedback with processing of the prior knowledge of outcomes to reduce uncertainty.

Daniel is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Society for Neuroscience. He has won numerous awards, is a member of the scientific advisory board of the British Neuroscience Association and presents talks around the world to both scientific and public audiences, including a 2011 TED talk on the real reason for brains.

Professional position

  • Professor of Neuroscience, Mortimer B Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Columbia University

Subject groups

  • Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences

    Behavioural neuroscience


  • Ferrier Medal and Lecture

    For groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of how the brain controls movement. Using theoretical and experimental approaches he has elucidated the computational principles underlying skilled motor behaviour.

  • Francis Crick Medal and Lecture

    On 'The Puppet Master: How the brain controls the body'.

Professor Daniel Wolpert FMedSci FRS
Elected 2012