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Semir Zeki

Professor of Neuroaesthetics, University College London

Semir Zeki is a British neurobiologist who has specialized in studying the primate visual brain and the neural correlates of affective states, such as the experience of love, desire, and beauty that are generated by sensory inputs within the field of neuroesthetics. 

He was educated at University College London (UCL), where he was Henry Head Research Fellow of the Royal Society before being appointed Professor of Neurobiology. Since 2008 he has been Professor of Neuroesthetics at UCL.

Zeki’s early work was mainly anatomical in nature and consisted of charting visual areas in the primate brain by studying their connections, leading him to define several visual areas lying anterior to the primary visual cortex (area V1) of the brain. This was followed by recording from single cells in these areas, which led him to the view (a) that there is a functional specialization in the visual cortex, with different visual areas undertaking different visual tasks, such as the processing of color, motion, and form and (b) that the visual brain processes these different attributes in parallel.