Dr. Joaquin M. Fuster (b.1930 Barcelona, Spain) studied medicine at the University of Barcelona (M.D. 1953). In 1957 he emigrated to the United States to initiate a career in neuroscience at the UCLA. During 1962-64, he worked as a visiting scientist at the Max-Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich. After receiving his PhD in neuroscience from the University of Granada, Spain, Dr. Fuster has been Professor of Psychiatry and a member of the Brain Research Institute and the Semel Institute at the UCLA's School of Medicine.
Dr. Fuster's major recent honors and awards include: Member of Honor of the Spanish Royal Academy of Medicine; Signoret Prize (University Sorbonne, Paris); Fyssen International Science Prize; Doctor Honoris Causa, University Miguel Hernández, Alicante, Spain; Goldman-Rakic Prize for Cognitive Neuroscience (NARSAD); and the George Miller Prize of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. His group has made significant contributions in cognitive neuroscience:
- Showed that brain-stem reticular activation facilitates visual (tachistoscopic) attention
- Pioneered intracellular records from the brain, showing a psychophysical power-function between visual stimulus intensity and synaptic potential amplitude in visual system.
- Showed reversible working-memory deficits by selective temporary cooling of cortical areas
- With one of the earliest microelectrode drives developed by him for the behaving animal he discovered the first “memory cells” in the prefrontal cortex of the monkey in working memory
- Discovered the first memory cells in inferotemporal (IT) cortex
- Showed functional interactions between IT and prefrontal cells in visual working memory
- Found tactile memory cells in parietal cortex
- By using working-memory tasks of different modalities, showed the distributed and associative nature of cortical networks in working memory.
Fuster is the author of over one-hundred peer-reviewed articles and three books: The Prefrontal Cortex, Memory in the Cerebral Cortex, and Cortex and Mind.
A selected list of publications:
DeFelipe Javier, Elston Guy N, Fujita Ichiro, Fuster Joaquín, Harrison Kimberly H, Hof Patrick R, Kawaguchi Yasuo, Martin Kevan A C, Rockland Kathleen S, Thomson Alex M, Wang Samuel S-H, White Edward L, Yuste Rafael
Neocortical circuits: evolutionary aspects and specificity versus
non-specificity of synaptic connections. Remarks, main conclusions and
general comments and discussion
Journal of neurocytology,
Prefrontal cortex and memory in primates,
Learning & Memory,
2003; 2nd Edition:
Prefrontal Cortex in Temporal Organization of Action,
: The Handbook of Brain Theory and Neural Network,
2002; Second Edition:
The Prefrontal Cortex,
Memory in the Cerebral Cortex,