Charles Gilbert received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School, where he held an academic appointment until he joined The Rockefeller University in 1983. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has received numerous awards, including the W. Alden Spencer Award from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience from the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. He is a member of the Rita Allen Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee.
Gilbert’s work focuses on the brain mechanisms of visual perception and learning. He studies the way in which the brain analyzes visual images, and how this analysis is shaped by experience and by higher-order cognitive influences. A major focus of his work is on plasticity of the visual cortex: the way in which cortical circuitry and function change during normal perceptual learning and during functional recovery following lesions of the central nervous system. He investigates the mechanisms of information processing by the brain at the molecular, circuit and perceptual levels. He has revealed its dynamic nature, showing the influence of attention, expectation and perceptual task on cortical function.