Professor Aron K. Barbey, 2019 Mensa Foundation Prize winner

Portrait: Dr. Barbey stands in the lab, standing in front of an fMRI machine.Professor Aron K. Barbey has significantly advanced the neuroscience of brain connectivity with his innovative research applying functional magnetic resonance imaging to the mapping of brain lesions and measuring their effects on raw intelligence.

Dr. Barbey is conducting his groundbreaking research on the connection between neural architecture and intelligence at the Center for Brain Plasticity, where he is the director, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

“Dr. Barbey’s work was unique in that he is a rare scientist studying actual human general intelligence and integrating its quantitative measure with a variety of biological experimental measures in a multidisciplinary model,” said Dr. Susan Stine, a neuroscientist and member of the Foundation Prize Committee.

Dr. Barbey becomes the second winner of the prestigious Mensa Foundation Prize, which is awarded biennially and includes a $10,000 prize.

The Mensa Foundation Prize, honoring discoveries in intelligence and creativity, is endowed by the estate of Kenneth Douglas Thomson (1934-2013), a longtime Mensa member from California. A Mensan for nearly 50 years, Thomson valued the organization as much as he valued intelligence and learning.