Wolfram Schultz

Wolfram Schultz

Wolfram Schultz is a graduate in medicine from the University of Heidelberg. After postdoctoral stays in Germany, USA and Sweden, and a faculty position in Switzerland, he works currently at the University of Cambridge. He combines behavioural, neurophysiological and neuroimaging techniques to investigate the neural mechanisms of rlearning, goal-directed behaviour and economic decision making. He uses behavioural concepts from animal learning theory and economic decision theories to study the neurophysiology and neuroimaging of reward and risk in individual neurons and in specific brain regions, including the dopamine system, striatum, orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala.  

Honors and Awards

  • 1984 Ellermann Prize, Swiss Societies for Neurology, Neurosurgery & Neuropathology
  • 1997 Theodore-Ott-Prize, Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (shared)
  • 2002 Golden Brain Award, Minerva Foundation, Berkeley, California
  • 2005 Ipsen Prize 2005 for Neuronal Plasticity (shared)
  • 2009 Fellow of the Royal Society
  • 2010 European Journal of Neuroscience Award of theFederation of European Neuroscience Societies (EJN FENS Award)
  • 2013 Zülch Prize of Gertrud Reemtsma Foundation, Max-Planck Society (shared)
  • 2014 Fellow, European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO)  

Research Interest

Our group is interested in identifying brain signals for reward and economic decisions. As information processing systems work with explicit signals, we first like to detect and characterise such signals before investigating more detailed neuronal mechanisms. We investigate fundamental reward and decision variables, including reward prediction errors, subjective reward value, utility, probability, risk and object-action-chosen value. We search for their signals in various brain structures, including dopamine neurons, striatum, frontal cortex and amygdala. We use concepts from animal learning theory and economic decision theory and combine behavioural, neurophysiological and neuroimaging (fMRI) methods. For more information, please see our website www.pdn.cam.ac.uk/staff/schultz.