Nir Sochen

Research topic:

  • Neuronal connectivity
  • Brain tissue characterization

Research  methods:

  • Diffusion MRI
  • Global characters of complex network of diffusion exchanges

Projects in the lab include:

  • The stochastic origin of diffusion MRI equations and corrections thereoff
  • Fingerprinting methods for simultaneous T1, T2 and diffusion restauration
  • Thermodynamic limit of the intricate structure of diffusion exchange in the millimeter scale in the brain

Shein-Idelson Mark

Research topic:
• Organization of population dynamics and coding across brain states.
• Evolution of neuronal computation.

Research methods:
• In-vivo and in-vitro large-scale, high-density extracellular electrophysiology.
• Signal processing and data analysis
• Computational modelling
• Intra-cellular electrophysiology

Projects in the lab include:
• Visual processing in the ancestral three layered cortex of turtles.
• Mechanistic sources of neuronal variability and their impact on coding.
• Organization of neuronal activity during interaction between oscillating sub-populations.
• Continuous monitoring and processing of 3D posture information in reptiles.
• Evolution of cortical computation – investigation of the amphibian dorsal pallium.

Rotenstreich Ygal

Research topic:

  • The eye as a window to the brain – using retinal structure and function measurements as novel early and objective biomarkers for brain neurodegeneration diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis), brain injuries and brain tumors.
  • Development of novel treatments for neuroretinal degeneration
  • Development of innovative diagnostic tools for macular, retinal degeneration and optic nerve diseases

Research methods:

  • Clinical trials – ophthalmic, imaging and pupillometry analyses
  • Animal research including transgenic rodent models for neuroretinal diseases
  • Molecular biology, tissue cultures and advanced in vivo imaging

Projects in the lab include:

  • Retinal structure and function measurements as novel objective biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Chromatic multifocal pupillometry for objective assessment of optic neuritis and multiple sclerosis
  • Chromatic multifocal pupillometry for objective assessment and early detection of changes in intracranial pressure and acute brain injury
  • Development of stem cell therapies for neuroretinal degeneration – pre-clinical studies and clinical trials
  • The role of microglia activation in neuroretinal degeneration and development of microglia-blocking treatments for incurable retina degeneration
  • Chromatic multifocal pupillometry – an innovative diagnostic tool for objective assessment of macular, retinal degeneration and optic nerve diseases

Joint projects with other Faculty members in the Sagol School of Neuroscience:

  • Retinal Structure and function as novel objective biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease – in collaboration with Prof. Michal Beeri and Dr. Ramit Ravona-Springer

Tamara Shiner

Research topic: Lewy body dementia (DLB) and relationship to mutations in the GBA (glucocerebrosidase) gene, Identification of early markers of neurodegeneration among first degree relatives of patients with Lewy body dementia.

Main projects in the lab include:

  1. Clinical, genetic and neuropsychological assesment of patients with Lewy body dementia and their first degree relatives.
  2. Functional and structural imaging of patients and first degree relatives of patients with Lewy body dementia.

Ast Gil

Research topic:

  • Familial Dysautonomia (FD) is a neurodegenerative disease
  • Developing new drugs to treat FD

Research  methods:

  • Generating transgenic mouse for FD
  • Drug development
  • Molecular pathways leading to neuro-degeneration

Projects in the lab include:

  • How PS (and other drugs) resulted in recovery of axonal outgrowth and enhanced retrograde axonal transport
  • Developing novel methods to deliver drugs to the brain
  • Identify the molecular pathway that leads to neurodegeneration in FD

Joint projects with other Faculty members in the Sagol School of Neuroscience:

  • Prof. Eran Perlson

Tavor Ido

Research topic:

Exploring the relations between brain structure, function and behavior by predicting variability in brain activity and human behavior from brain anatomy and connectivity measurements

Research methods: 

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): functional MRI and diffusion MRI
  • Computational modeling
  • Behavioral experiments

Main projects in the lab include:

  • Predicting task-evoked brain activity from scans acquired at rest
  • Developing behavioral tasks that induce functional and structural brain modifications
  • Investigating the underline mechanisms of functional neuroplasticity as measured with fMRI
  • Characterizing inter-subject variability in brain structure
  • Statistical modeling of MRI data

Moshaiov Amiram

Research topic: Computer-supported assessments of biological systems including aspects such as: adaptation (evolution, development, life-long learning), behavior, and cognition

Research methods: Computational intelligence methods such as evolutionary computation, artificial neural-networks, fuzzy logic, and their hybridizations.

Main Projects in the lab include:

  1. Neuro-fuzzy Inferencing about Natural Systems – The development of a novel adaptive-neuro-fuzzy inference method for understanding the behavior of biological systems. In collaboration with Prof. Amir Ayali, we have already shown the effectiveness of this generic approach for the case of a marching locust in a swarm.
  2. Multi-payoff Games – In the past utility-based game theory has been used for the understanding of natural systems. In collaboration with Dr. G. Avigad and others, we have developed a non-utility based approach to multi-payoff games (games involving conflicting objectives for each player). We postulate that our recent achievements in defining rationalizable strategies in such games may lead to some new developments in understanding natural systems.
  3. Computational Neuroevolution – We have developed several unique approaches to artificially evolve neural-networks. For example, we suggested a unique algorithm for multi-objective topology and weight evolution of recurrent neural networks. While developed for robotics, we suggest that it may be used for understanding natural systems. Note: The postulations in item 2 and 3 are in accordance with our theory of multi- competence cybernetics. Initial presentation of this theory can be found in: Moshaiov, A. “Multi-competence Cybernetics: The Study of Multi-objective Artificial Systems and Multi- fitness Natural Systems.” In Multiobjective Problem Solving from Nature. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 285-304, 2008.

Stark Eran

Research topic: Spiking network mechanisms underlying cognition

Research methods:  Our unique approach combines high density extracellular recordings with multi-site/multi-color electrical/optogenetic/pharmacologic manipulations, in freely-moving rodents that perform cognitive tasks. Our work involves developing behavioral tasks, engineering (molecular biology, optics, and electronics), data analysis (algorithmic design, multivariate signal processing), and modeling (single-cell and network).

Main projects in the lab include:

  1. Spiking network mechanisms underlying short term memory
  2. Spiking network mechanisms underlying phase precession

Hendler Talma

Research topic: Neuro-behavioral dynamics of the human emotional experience and their role in the cause and alleviation of mental disorders.

Research methods: Human Brain Mapping: MRI (functional MRI and DTI), Electrophysiology (EEG, ERP, intracranial-EEG). Cognitive-Affective behavioral measures: on-line rating and verbal outputs, state and trait scales. Physiological measures of state (Heart-Rate, Skin Conductance), Hormonal measures of states (e.g. cortisol), computational accounts for brain mapping (e.g. machine learning, clustering).

Main projects in the lab include:

  1. Identifying neural markers of vulnerability and resilience to stress and trauma; prospective studies in prone populations
  2. Characterizing neural mechanisms of emotional regulation via cinematic and musical stimuli
  3. Neuro-cultural accounts of anger behavior using brain mapping and verbal outputs
  4. Multi-modal approach for brain-computer-interface (BCI) in humans

Moran Anan

Research topic: Studying how ensembles of neurons from different nuclei of the brain (both cortical and sub-cortical) collaboratively process taste information to drive behavior, and how experience adaptively change their activity.

Research methods: in-vivo (rat) multichannel extracellular electrophysiology, optogenetics, pure behavior studies and computer simulations. Data analysis goes beyond the regular single neuron level and utilize sophisticated statistical models such as Hidden Markov models (HMM) to probe changes to neural ensemble state dynamics.

Projects in the lab include:

  1. Studying how the amygdala, and specifically the basolateral amygdala (BLA), is involved in shaping cortical neuronal ensemble dynamics during taste processing
  2.  Studying how the BLA influences gustatory cortex (GC) ensemble taste processing during acquisition of emotional learning
  3. Studying how learning-related BLA and GC responses change when synaptic plasticity in one brain region is inhibited during memory retention