Jasper Poort (33) is receiving the 2016 Heineken Young Scientists Award for Cognitive Sciences for his research on how our brain takes rapid decisions by focusing on the most important information available.
Poort’s work concerns a question that intrigues many cognitive scientists: how do our brains manage to process vast amounts of sensory input at lightning speed when deciding on a course of action?
How is it that we can move safely from A to B through crowded streets full of buildings, billboards, traffic signs and other people and vehicles? How does the brain manage to focus on the most crucial input and ignore the rest? How do nerve cells and regions of the brain cope with the unending flood of information all around them?
He completed his PhD in 2012 at VU University Amsterdam for research that he had conducted at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience. He is currently a post-doctoral researcher at The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for neural circuits and behaviour at the Faculty of Life Sciences, University College London.
The Heineken Young Scientists Awards offer encouragement to talented young researchers. They are awarded every other year by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) to promising researchers whose outstanding work sets an example for others of their generation. he Heineken Young Scientists Awards consist of a work of art designed by Jeroen Henneman (Amsterdam) and EUR 10,000.