Shlomo Bentin died in a traffic accident on July 13th 2012. Shlomo was an amazing man and had a great impact not only on psychological and brain science but also directly on the lives of so many people. He had a unique passion for life and for scientific discovery. He was a strong man with a soft heart and his exuberant presence was always felt and admired.

This blog is a place where people can share their experiences and memories of Shlomo. He was an extremely lively man who cherished his family, friends, work and academic accomplishments and we hope this blog will help to celebrate his life as he always did. To contribute, please send your text to Ani Flevaris and Ayelet Landau directly or at remembering.shlomo[at]

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

From Joe DeGutis

Shlomo was a passionate and thoughtful scientist, a great mentor, and an admirable and wonderful man.  Shlomo helped me get through a challenging time in grad school.  While struggling to find my dissertation topic, I had become interested in trying to train a prosopagnosic to better recognize faces.  While visiting Berkeley one summer, this project piqued Shlomo's curiosity.  At first I remember being a little intimidated by Shlomo because at colloquia he asked tough questions and sometimes seemed less than fully satisfied with the answers.  It wasn't long after I started having one-on-one conversations with Shlomo that I experienced his softer side - his profound curiosity, his sense of humor and lightheartedness, and his kindness.  Shlomo dove into our face training project, adding key expertise, and really helped encourage and focus my efforts.  The results turned out even better than we had hoped and with Shlomo's help I wrote the paper and sent it to the top journals.  After proceeding to get reviewed and rejected by each journal, I became demoralized and deflated and could hardly bring myself to look at the manuscript.  When Shlomo arrived back in Berkeley, he told me to gather up all the reviews and that we were going to go over each and every comment and re-write the manuscript together.  So we sat together in his office in front of the computer for 8+ hour stretches over several days, thinking out loud, arguing, and hammering out every last detail.  It was intense and exhausting, but together we got it right.  Looking back at that experience, it is amazing to me that a professor of Shlomo's stature would take the time to help a struggling graduate student that wasn't even his own.  But that was Shlomo.  He was never afraid to fully invest in and engage with students and colleagues. Though I miss Shlomo dearly, I feel extremely grateful that I was able to spend time with and engage with such a special man.

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