When, as a student, I had to choose what topic to study in science, I learned that there were two topics where the largest achievements were to be expected in the next decades: astronomy and neuroscience. Since I also wanted to contribute to society, I chose neuroscience, which arguably is the basis of all human culture. I focused on understanding the code of the brain. I stumbled into the opportunity to use knowledge from fundamental research to help people directly: although our knowledge of a neural code is rudimental, it proves to be sufficient to feed commands to a computer, which can bypass faulty muscular control in people. It is very gratifying to apply fundamental knowledge for individual patients and while doing that increase our knowledge of the brain.

Erik Aarnoutse