The Swartz Foundation
To achieve its ends, the foundation supports a number of initiatives, such as the Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience at the University of California at San Diego. The center will initially pursue two major lines of research: studies of brain activity in high-level cognitive behaviors, and new applications of mathematical techniques for studies of evoked potentials. Independent component analysis of experimental data will be the core mathematical application in this work.
The most expansive of the foundation's programs is the sponsorship of five Sloan/Swartz Centers for Theoretical Neurobiology (at the California Institute of Technology, the University of California at San Francisco, Brandeis University, New York University, and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies), which forms a strong nucleus for the advancement of integrative neurobiology (i.e., theory, systems analysis and experiment).
The Swartz Foundation also sponsors targeted research projects at a variety of institutions, including Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), Columbia University, Stony Brook University, Salk Institute, UCSD, UCSF, Yale and Princeton. These projects range from experimental investigations of brain circuitry to computational modeling of large neuronal systems to explorations of consciousness using physical and mathematical principles. To further information exchange, the Swartz Foundation sponsors scientific conferences at the Banbury Center of CSHL. Core themes governing these workshops are scientific approaches to the study of consciousness, and general principles and dynamics of brain function. At Stony Brook University, the foundation sponsors a series of annual Mind/Brain Lectures. These are public talks by eminent scientists and thinkers on the scientific basis of the connection between the brain and the mind. Past presenters include Antonio Damasio, Terry Sejnowski, Michael Gazzaniga, Paul Churchland, Michael Merzenich, V.S. Ramachandran and Joseph E. LeDoux.
The Swartz Foundation intends to support interdisciplinary work on some of the global questions at the frontiers of neuroscience inquiry. Examples of topics that we consider include principles and implications of brain evolution, the functional convergence of computer technology and the brain, and substrates of consciousness. Representatives from the physical sciences, mathematics, computer science and engineering disciplines, as well as cognitive science, psychology and philosophy are brought together with neuroscientists, exposing each other to new knowledge, skill sets and intuitions. For information on Foundation-sponsored and other related meetings, visit the ‘Events’ page of this web site.
For more information, contact the Chief Scientific Advisor for the Foundation, Dr. William Bialek.