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NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

NEI’s Hikosaka Receives Neuroscience Prize

Hikosaka seated in office

Dr. Okihide Hikosaka

Photo: Lesley Earl

Dr. Okihide Hikosaka, senior investigator in the Laboratory of Sensorimotor Research at the National Eye Institute, is a recipient of the 2018 Gruber Prize in Neuroscience. The prize is awarded each year by the Gruber Foundation to a scientist or scientists whose work has significantly impacted the neuroscience field. The prize was presented at a ceremony on Nov. 4 during the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

Since first arriving at NIH in 1979 as a postdoctoral fellow, Hikosaka has studied how evolutionarily ancient regions of the brain known as the basal ganglia process visual information. His research has revealed how the basal ganglia control eye movements (saccades). More recently, his work has focused on how neuronal pathways in the basal ganglia encode long-term memories about emotional values of visual objects.

Hikosaka shares this year’s prize with Dr. Ann Graybiel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Dr. Wolfram Schultz, University of Cambridge, who have also made seminal discoveries about the structure and function of the basal ganglia. 

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