WASHINGTON, DC — Xiao-Jing Wang, global professor of neural science and co-director of the Swartz Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at New York University, will be honored with the Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience. Supported by The Swartz Foundation, the $25,000 prize is presented to an individual who has made a cumulative contribution to theoretical models or computational methods in neuroscience or who has recently and significantly advanced the field. The award will be presented at Neuroscience 2017, SfN’s annual meeting and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.


“Dr. Wang’s myriad contributions to theoretical and computational neuroscience, dedication to furthering neuroscience education in the U.S. and China, and global esteem make him a worthy recipient of the Swartz Prize,” SfN President Eric Nester said.

Xiao-Jing Wang, PhD, is regarded as a pre-eminent theoretical neuroscientist who has made significant contributions to the understanding of brain oscillations and the neural basis of cognitive processes such as working memory and decision-making. His research has important implications for research in physiology, cognition, and psychiatry.


He is universally lauded not only for his scientific acumen but also for his innovative collaborations with scientists and construction of mathematical models. Wang’s most notable accomplishment has been in building biophysically based neural circuit models of working memory and decision-making, leading to the concept of “cognitive-type” circuits and insights into understanding the prefrontal cortex. His efforts to establish bridges between theory and experiment have had a marked impact on research at large.

Wang also has been successful in condensing diverse phenomena into a small set of dynamical rules that have been instrumental in studying the complexities of neurons and neuronal circuits. Wang currently is focusing his research on modeling how multiple brain regions in a large-scale neural system are engaged in different cognitive processes and interact with each other to underlie cognition.


Wang’s work has been cited extensively, and he has been exceptional in synthesizing and reviewing work in specific fields. He is as committed to education as he is to science and has played a pivotal role in building a portal campus of NYU Shanghai as its inaugural Provost as well as growing neuroscience education and research in China, frequently seeking to involve his students in the international community of computational neuroscience. In addition to the many students Wang has taught and mentored, he has influenced a generation of cognitive and behavioral neuroscientists.  


The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of nearly 37,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system.