David H. Hubel
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1981
Born: 27 February 1926, Windsor, ON, Canada
Died: 22 September 2013, Lincoln, MA, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
Prize motivation: "for their discoveries concerning information processing in the visual system."
Prize share: 1/4
Our vision works by the light around us being captured by a large number of light-sensitive cells located in the retinas at the back of our eyes. The light is converted into signals that are sent to the brain and there converted into visual impressions. David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel clarified how this process works during the 1960s: In the cerebral cortex signals are analyzed in sequence by cells with the specific tasks of interpreting contrasts, patterns, and movements. They also showed that this ability develops in children during the initial period after birth.
Their work and discoveries range from the Earth’s climate and our sense of touch to efforts to safeguard freedom of expression.
See them all presented here.