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Michael Merzenich


  Male      American      Scientist



About Author

Michael M. Merzenich (born in 1942 in Lebanon, Oregon) is a professor emeritus neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco. His contributions to the field are numerous. He took the sensory cortex maps developed by his predecessors like Archie Tunturi, Clinton Woolsey, Vernon Mountcastle, Wade Marshall, and Philip Bard, and refined them using dense micro-electrode mapping techniques. Using this, he definitively showed there to be multiple somatotopic maps of the body in the postcentral sulcus, and multiple tonotopic maps of the acoustic inputs in the superior temporal plane.

He led the cochlear implant team at UCSF, which transferred its technology to Advanced Bionics, and their version is the Clarion cochlear implant. He collaborated with Bill Jenkins and Gregg Recanzone to demonstrate sensory maps are labile into adulthood in animals performing operant sensory tasks. He collaborated with Paula Tallal, Bill Jenkins, and Steve Miller to form the company Scientific Learning. This was based on Fast ForWord software they co-invented that produces improvements in children's language skills that has been related to the magnitude of their temporal processing impairments prior to training.

Merzenich was director and Chief Scientific Officer of Scientific Learning between November 1996 and January 2003. Merzenich took two sabbaticals from UCSF in 1997 and 2004. In 1997 he led research teams at Scientific Learning Corporation, and in 2004 at Posit Science Corporation. Currently, Merzenich's second company, Posit Science, is working on a broad range of behavioral therapies. Their lead product is brain-training application called BrainHQ (TM). Merzenich is Chief Scientific Officer and on the Board of Directors at Posit Science...


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