David H. Hubel

About David H. Hubel

Who is it?: Neurophysiologist
Birth Day: February 27, 1926
Birth Place: Windsor, Canada, United States
Alma mater: McGill University
Known for: Visual system
Spouse(s): Ruth Izzard (m. 1953)
Awards: Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize (1978) Dickson Prize (1980) Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1981) ForMemRS (1982)
Fields: Neurophysiologist
Institutions: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Harvard University

David H. Hubel

David H. Hubel was born on February 27, 1926 in Windsor, Canada, United States, is Neurophysiologist. David Hunter Hubel was a Nobel Prize winning neurophysiologist noted for his work on the structure and function of the visual cortex. Born in Canada to American parents, he later became naturalized American citizen and served the US Army for around three years. He was assigned to the Neurophysiology Division of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research as part of his military service. There he began working on primary visual cortex of cats, both in sleeping and wakeful condition and invented the tungsten microelectrode. On completion of the military service he joined Wilmer Institute and worked under Stephen Kuffler. There he collaborated with Torsten Wiesel to work on the relationship between the retina and the visual cortex. The partnership lasted for more than two decades. Meanwhile, they shifted to Harvard University, where they continued with their research, which earned the duo the coveted Nobel Prize. They later worked with kittens to throw light on cataract and defect in alignment in children’s eyes. He was also a successful academician and authored many distinguished books on visual system.
David H. Hubel is a member of Scientists

Does David H. Hubel Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, David H. Hubel has been died on September 22, 2013(2013-09-22) (aged 87)\nLincoln, Massachusetts, US.

🎂 David H. Hubel - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When David H. Hubel die, David H. Hubel was 87 years old.

Popular As David H. Hubel
Occupation Scientists
Age 87 years old
Zodiac Sign Pisces
Born February 27, 1926 (Windsor, Canada, United States)
Birthday February 27
Town/City Windsor, Canada, United States
Nationality United States

🌙 Zodiac

David H. Hubel’s zodiac sign is Pisces. According to astrologers, Pisces are very friendly, so they often find themselves in a company of very different people. Pisces are selfless, they are always willing to help others, without hoping to get anything back. Pisces is a Water sign and as such this zodiac sign is characterized by empathy and expressed emotional capacity.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

David H. Hubel was born in the Year of the Tiger. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Tiger are authoritative, self-possessed, have strong leadership qualities, are charming, ambitious, courageous, warm-hearted, highly seductive, moody, intense, and they’re ready to pounce at any time. Compatible with Horse or Dog.

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David H. Hubel was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, to American parents in 1926. His grandfather emigrated as a child to the United States from the Bavarian town of Nördlingen. In 1929, his family moved to Montreal, where he spent his formative years. His father was a chemical Engineer and Hubel developed a keen interest in science right from childhood, making many experiments in chemistry and electronics. From age six to eighteen, he attended Strathcona Academy in Outremont, Quebec about which he said, "[I owe] much to the excellent teachers there, especially to Julia Bradshaw, a dedicated, vivacious history Teacher with a memorable Irish temper, who awakened me to the possibility of learning how to write readable English." He studied mathematics and physics at McGill University, and then entered medical school there.


In 1954, he moved to the United States to work at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine as an assistant resident in Neurology. He was later drafted by the army and served at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR). There, he began recording from the primary visual cortex of sleeping and awake cats. At WRAIR, he invented the modern metal microelectrode out of Stoner-Mudge lacquer and tungsten, and the modern hydraulic microdrive, for which he had to learn basic machinist skills to produce. In 1958, he moved to Johns Hopkins and began his collaborations with Wiesel, and discovered orientation selectivity and columnar organization in visual cortex. One year later, he joined the faculty of Harvard University. In 1981, Hubel became a founding member of the World Cultural Council. From 1988 to 1989 he was the President of the Society for Neuroscience.


The Hubel and Wiesel experiments greatly expanded the scientific knowledge of sensory processing. The partnership lasted over twenty years and became known as one of the most prominent research pairings in science. In one experiment, done in 1959, they inserted a microelectrode into the primary visual cortex of an anesthetized cat. They then projected patterns of light and dark on a screen in front of the cat. They found that some neurons fired rapidly when presented with lines at one angle, while others responded best to another angle. Some of these neurons responded to light patterns and dark patterns differently. Hubel and Wiesel called these neurons simple cells." Still other neurons, which they termed complex cells, detected edges regardless of where they were placed in the receptive field of the neuron and could preferentially detect motion in certain directions. These studies showed how the visual system constructs complex representations of visual information from simple stimulus features.


Hubel and Wiesel received the Nobel Prize for two major contributions: firstly, their work on development of the visual system, which involved a description of ocular dominance columns in the 1960s and 1970s; and secondly, their work establishing a foundation for visual neurophysiology, describing how signals from the eye are processed by visual parcels in the neo-cortex to generate edge detectors, motion detectors, stereoscopic depth detectors and color detectors, building blocks of the visual scene. By depriving kittens from using one eye, they showed that columns in the primary visual cortex receiving inputs from the other eye took over the areas that would normally receive input from the deprived eye. This has important implications for the understanding of deprivation amblyopia, a type of visual loss due to unilateral visual deprivation during the so-called critical period. These kittens also did not develop areas receiving input from both eyes, a feature needed for binocular vision. Hubel and Wiesel's experiments showed that the ocular dominance develops irreversibly early in childhood development. These studies opened the door for the understanding and treatment of childhood cataracts and strabismus. They were also important in the study of cortical plasticity.


Furthermore, the understanding of sensory processing in animals served as inspiration for the SIFT descriptor (Lowe, 1999), which is a local feature used in computer vision for tasks such as object recognition and wide-baseline matching, etc. The SIFT descriptor is arguably the most widely used feature type for these tasks. Hubel was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 1982.


Hubel married Ruth Izzard in 1953; she died February 17, 2013. The couple had three sons and four grandchildren. He died in Lincoln, Massachusetts from kidney failure on September 22, 2013 at the age of 87.

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