Jasper Poort

Dr J. Poort (33) is a post-doctoral researcher at The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for neural circuits and behaviour at the Faculty of Life Sciences, University College London. He is receiving the 2016 Heineken Young Scientists Award for Cognitive Sciences for his research on how our brains take rapid decisions by concentrating on the most important information available.

Jasper Poort studied psychology at Leiden University and cognitive neurosciences at Radboud University Nijmegen. He completed his PhD in 2012 at VU University Amsterdam for research that he had conducted at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, an Academy institute.

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?

Jasper Poort has published in such prestigious journals as Neuron and is the recipient of both an NWO VENI grant, an EU Marie Curie research grant and a UCL Excellence Fellowship grant. He is eager to discuss his work with non-scientists as well. For example, he has cooperated on the Dutch ‘Canon of Science’ and gives public lectures on brain research.

Press photographs

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