Remembering neuroscientist Walter Freeman

Walter Jackson Freeman III, a neuroscientist and philosopher known for his pioneering work on how the brain generates our perception of the world, died Sunday, April 24, at his home in Berkeley. He was 89.

A professor emeritus of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, Freeman died from pulmonary fibrosis of unknown cause, an affliction that did not keep him from walking to campus every day until just a few months ago.

Freeman is considered one of the founders of the field of computational neuroscience, which uses mathematics and computers to understand brain dynamics and neural networks. He published nearly 500 research articles in his lifetime, in addition to popular books –Societies of Brains: A Study in the Neuroscience of Love and Hate (1995) and How Brains Make Up Their Minds (2001) – that brought the ideas of brain dynamics and chaos theory to lay audiences.

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Article by Robert Sanders, Berkeley News

Image by Bruce Cook, courtesy of Berkeley News