About Marr2019

David Marr stands as a giant in the development of neuroscience, where he brought his insights from mathematical theory to a largely experimental subject in which dramatic new findings were being made.

After reading Mathematics at Trinity College and being exposed to biological research at the Laboratory for Molecular Biology, Marr decided to attempt a merger of the two disciplines a computational model of learning in three well-defined neural networks: cerebellum, hippocampus and neocortex.

The impact of the three resulting papers, which constituted his doctoral thesis and have been cited more than 6000 times, cannot be overstated.

After completing his PhD, he moved to MIT and had a major impact on thinking in relation to visual information processing. Tragically, Marr died of leukaemia at age of 35.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of David Marr’s first paper of the Cambridge trilogy, we will hold a one-day meeting that takes a contemporary look at the fields in which Marr published these papers.

david marr

To cover the full scope of Marr’s graduate work while in Cambridge, the meeting will be divided into three sessions which focus on the cerebellum, hippocampus and neocortex. The initial talk for each session, given by an established neuroscientist within the relevant field, will put Marr’s overall conceptualisation of that system into the perspective of the day and indicate how this influenced modern research.

The second and third presentations, delivered by experimental and theoretical neuroscientists who can reinforce Marr’s ideas, will put them into the current context and speculatively discuss future relevance. To conclude, we will host an informal and interactive debate on his world-famous “three levels of analysis”.