Eve Marder used the simple circuits of crustaceans to elucidate the dynamic interplay between flexibility and stability in the nervous system. She showed that numerous neuromodulators reconfigure the output of adult neural circuits without altering their underlying anatomy.
At the same time, she found that circuits can generate similar neuronal and network outputs from many different configurations of intrinsic neuronal excitability and synaptic strength.
This apparent paradox was solved by her recognition that neurons have a self-regulating homeostatic programme that drives them to a stable target activity level.
With the other two Kavli Prize laureates, Marder defined the mechanisms by which brains remain stable while allowing for change during development and learning.
She shares the Kavli Prize in neuroscience this year with two other internationally acclaimed scientists: Michael Merzenich from the University of California, San Francisco and Carla Shatz from Stanford University.
“With the other two Kavli Prize laureates, Marder defined the mechanisms by which brains remain stable while allowing for change during development and learning,” Marder’s citation reads.
More information regarding the 2016 Kavli prizes can be found here.
The NERF team wholeheartedly congratulates Professor Marder on the award. We also would like to use this occasion to express our sincere gratitude for Professor Marder's contributions as NERF SAB member to the development of NERF!