Christoph von der Malsburg

Christoph von der Malsburg (born 8 May 1942 in Kassel) is a German physicist and neuroscientist.

Christoph von der Malsburg

Early lifeEdit

von der Malsburg obtained his PhD with a concentration in elementary particle physics at CERN and the University of Heidelberg in 1970.


He joined the neurobiology section of the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen. He remained there until 1987, when he became Professor of Computer Science, Neuroscience, Physics and Psychology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.[1] In 1990, he founded the Institut für Neuroinformatik (Institute for Neural Computation) at Ruhr-University Bochum, together with Werner von Seelen. He commuted between the two institutions until 2007, when he joined the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies as a Senior Fellow.[2]

Von der Malsburg cofounded two companies and received many awards. He is a member of the scientific advisory board of Human Brain Project[3] and one of the members of the founding board of Mindfire Foundation, for which he also heads the neuroscience board.[4]

Brain TheoryEdit

His research interests focused on processes of organization in the brain with emphasis on the structure and function of the visual system. His publications concerning the theory of self-organization of regular fiber projections in the visual system made him a pioneer of this field. He is known for his criticism of the theory of neural networks.[5][failed verification] He claimed that the generally accepted view fails because of the binding problem. To solve it he formulated the Dynamic Link Architecture, a system of rapidly switching network fragments, as applied to facial recognition.[6][7]


  • Pioneer Award 1994 of the Neural Network Council of the IEEE
  • Karl Heinz Beckurts Foundation Award 1998
  • Koerber-Award for European Science 2000
  • Hebb Award 2003 of the International Neural Network Society
  • President of the European Neural Network Society from 1995 to 1996
  • Fellow of the International Neural Network Society
  • Co-editor of several journals


  1. ^ Christoph von der Malsburg Professor of Computer Science, Computer Science Department, Biology Department, Department for Physics and Astronomy Director, Laboratory of Computational and Biological Vision Director, Institut für Neuroinformatik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany
  2. ^ Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies: Christoph von der Malsburg
  3. ^ Human Brain Project: Scientific Advisory Board
  4. ^ "Mindfire Foundation: Team". Archived from the original on 2018-08-22. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  5. ^ Christoph von der Malsburg: The correlation theory of brain function. Internal Report 81-2, MPI Biophysical Chemistry, 1981. See Reprint in Models of Neural Networks II, chapter 2, pages 95-119. Springer, Berlin, 1994.
  6. ^ P. Wolfrum, C. Wolff, J. Lücke, and C. von der Malsburg. A recurrent dynamic model for correspondence-based face recognition. Journal of Vision 8, 1--18. doi:10.1167/8.7.34, 2008.
  7. ^ Wiscott, L., Fellous, J. M., Krüger, N., and von der Malsburg, C. (July 1997) “Face recognition by elastic bunch graph matching. IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence 19 (7): 775-779. ISSN 0162-8828,