György Buzsáki

Neuroscientist György Buzsáki – who  earned his medical degree at the University of Pécs, and was rewarded with The Brain Prize for his activities in 2011 – was inaugurated as the honorary doctor of the University of Pécs on the occasion of the Celebration of the Day of Hungarian Higher Education on the 1st of September 2017.

A Magyar Felsőoktatás Napján Buzsáki György beszéde/ fotó: Csortos Szabolcs, UnivPécs



György Buzsáki is a systems neuroscientist known for his two-stage model of memory consolidation, discovery of internally generated cell assemblies that support cognition, neural syntax and brain rhythms and his innovative techniques in neuroscience. Buzsaki was born in Hungary, grew up in Pécs, where received his M.D. in 1974 from the University of Pécs, then earned his Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 1984 from the Academy of Sciences in Budapest. He is among the top 1% most-cited neuroscientists, member of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Academiae Europaeae and an external member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He sits on the editorial boards of several leading neuroscience journals, including Science and Neuron, received honoris causa from Université Aix-Marseille, France, University of Kaposvar, Hungary and University of Pecs, Hungary. He is a co-recipient of the 2011 Brain Prize (with Peter Somogyi and Tamas Freund). Author of a popular neuroscience book: G. Buzsáki, Rhythms of the Brain, Oxford University Press, 2006.


Research Interest 

Buzsáki’s primary interests is “neural syntax”, i.e., how segmentation of neural information is organized by the numerous brain rhythms to support cognitive functions.. He identified the cellular-synaptic basis of hippocampal theta, gamma oscillations and sharp waves with associated fast oscillations, their relationship to each other and to behavior and sleep. He was the first to demonstrate the role of GABAergic interneurons in network oscillations. Buzsaki’s recognition of the importance hierarchical organization of brain rhythms of different frequencies and their cross-frequency coupling has opened up opportunities for the dissection of cognitive mechanisms in health and disease.

His most influential work, the two-stage model of memory trace consolidation, demonstrates how the neocortex-mediated information during learning transiently modifies hippocampal networks, followed by reactivation and consolidation of these memory traces during sharp wave-ripple patterns of sleep.  Buzsaki’s demonstration that in the absence of changing environmental signals, cortical circuits continuously generate self-organized cell assembly sequences is a breakthrough for the neuronal assembly basis of cognitive functions. His recent experiments demonstrated how skewed distribution of firing rates supports robustness, sensitivity, plasticity and stability in neuronal networks.

To achieve these goals he has pioneered numerous technical innovations, including large-scale recording methods using silicon chips and the NeuroGrid, an organic, comformable electrode system used in both animal and patients.


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