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Encyclopedia > Christof Koch

Christof Koch (born November 13, 1956) is an American neuroscientist. He currently holds the position of Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology, California Institute of Technology. He is the executive officer of the Computation and Neural Systems program at Caltech.

In addition to a number of edited books he has published two monographs: Biophysics of computation: information processing in single neurons (1999), and more recently The quest for consciousness: a neurobiological approach (2004).

He has been active since the early 1990s in the promotion of consciousness as a scientifically tractable problem, and has been particularly influencial in arguing that consciousness can now be approached using the modern tools of neurobiology. His primary collaborator in this endevour was the late Francis Crick. He is the local organiser of the 2005 meeting of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness.

External links

  • His homepage (http://www.klab.caltech.edu/~koch/index-main-page.html)
  • His laboratory's homepage (http:///www.klab.caltech.edu)
  • A link to his book The quest for consciousness (http://www.questforconsciousness.com)
  • Online lecture videos, (http://klab.caltech.edu/cns120/videos.html) from an undergraduate course taught by Christof Koch in 2004 on the neurobiological basis of consciousness.
  • Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (http://assc.caltech.edu)
  • An interview with Francis Crick and Christof Koch, 2001 (http://www.artboy.info/strange/listen.html)

  Results from FactBites:
Book review of Christof Koch (1188 words)
Koch and his research partner Francis Crick (who is not listed as co-author but is credited throughout the book) focus on the "neuronal correlates of consciousness" (NCC): the "thing" in the brain that corresponds to states of awareness.
Koch elegantly divides short and long term memory based on the underlying mechanism: long-term memory is caused by a physical rewiring of the brain (strengthening of connections), whereas short-term memory is caused by a sustained firing pattern by an assembly of neurons.
Koch believes in a nonconscious homunculus, residing in the front of the forebrain, that handles the information stored in the back of the cortex (the sensory regions) and that does all of the "thinking" (i.e., takes all the decisions).
The Scientist : Christof Koch's Ascent (1993 words)
Koch acknowledges that his concentration on the visual system might possibly be biased, as he has always been a vision researcher.
Koch thinks that this kind of specific work in higher cortical areas may lead to discovery of the neuronal correlate of consciousness (NCC), the smallest set of neurons responsible for a particular percept.
Koch' is collaborating with biologist David Anderson, biophysicist Henry Lester, both at Caltech, and with UCLA behaviorist Michael Fanslow to explore the molecular basis of attention in mice.
  More results at FactBites »



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