14 Facts About Christof Koch


Christof Koch is a German-American neurophysiologist and computational neuroscientist best known for his work on the neural basis of consciousness.


Christof Koch is the president and chief scientist of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle.


Christof Koch is the son of German parents; his father was a diplomat, as is his older brother Michael.


Christof Koch was raised as a Roman Catholic and attended a Jesuit high school in Morocco.


Christof Koch received a PhD in sciences for his works in the field of nonlinear information processing from the Max Planck Institute in Tubingen, Germany, in 1982.


Christof Koch worked for four years at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT before joining, in 1986, the newly started Computation and Neural Systems PhD program at the California Institute of Technology.


Christof Koch has authored more than 300 scientific papers and five books about how computers and neurons process information.

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Subsequently, his then PhD-student, Laurent Itti, and Christof Koch developed a popular suite of visual saliency algorithms.


Since the early 1990s, Christof Koch has argued that identifying the mechanistic basis of consciousness is a scientifically tractable problem, and has been influential in arguing that consciousness can be approached using the modern tools of neurobiology.


Christof Koch writes a popular column, Consciousness Redux, for Scientific American Mind on scientific and popular topics pertaining to consciousness.


Christof Koch co-founded the Methods in Computational Neuroscience summer course at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole in 1988, the Neuromorphic Engineering summer school in Telluride, Colorado in 1994 and the Dynamic Brain summer course at the Friday Harbor Laboratories on San Juan Island in 2014.


In early 2011, Christof Koch became the chief scientist and the President of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, leading their ten-year project concerning high-throughput large-scale cortical coding.


Christof Koch is a proponent of the idea of consciousness emerging out of complex nervous networks.


Christof Koch is a vegetarian, a bicyclist, and an experienced rock climber.