Shir Hofstetter, Ph.D.

Former student at Prof. Yaniv Assaf's laboratory

Research title
MRI study of the temporal and spatial evolution of neuroplasticity


Research project

Diverse physiological processes underlie the brains aptitude to learn, acquire expertise or adapt to a new environment. Both functional and structural plasticity facilitate these abilities. The study of neuroplasticity in the human and non-human brain achieved great advancement in recent years, in part owing to magnetic resonance imaging studies that were shown to be able to locate and track the structural changes that accompany learning. Nonetheless, the understanding of this vast process is far for being complete. The dynamic features of structural plasticity, how they evolve in time and emerge in different brain regions is yet to be resolved. As neuroplasticity is a fundamental process that underlie learning and behavior, it is imperative to understand the basic characteristics in the healthy brain in order to diagnose and evaluate maladaptive or inadequate plasticity in a state of disease. My research focus on tracing structural changes induced by short-term learning experience using techniques that are sensitive to tissues microstructure such as diffusion tensor imaging. We aim to test the dynamic and timescale of tissue remodeling in the white and gray matter of both human subjects and rodents.


Meetings

  • Poster presentation in the 22th annual meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM), Geneva, Switzerland. June 2016

  • Poster presentation in the 21th annual meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM), Honolulu, Hawaii. June 2015

  • Speaker in the 23rd annual meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), Toronto, Canada. May 2015

  • Poster presentation in the 23rd annual meeting of the Israel Society for Neuroscience (ISFN), Eilat, Israel. December 2014

  • Poster presentation in the 20th annual meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM), Hamburg, Germany. June 2014

  • Poster presentation in the 22nd annual meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), Milan, Italy. May 2014

  • Poster presentation in the 22nd annual meeting of the Israel Society for Neuroscience (ISFN), Eilat, Israel. December 2013

  • Poster presentation in the workshop of ISMRM diffusion study group, Podstrana, Croatia. October 2013

  • Speaker in the 21 annual meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), Salt lake city, USA. April 2013

  • Poster presentation in the 21 annual meeting of the Israel Society for Neuroscience (ISFN), Eilat, Israel. December 2012

  • Poster presentation in the 20th annual meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), Melbourne, Australia. May 2012

  • Poster presentation in the 41 annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SFN), Washington D.C, USA. November 2011

  • Poster presentation in the 16th annual meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM), Barcelona, Spain. June 2010


Publications

  • Hofstetter S and Assaf Y. “The Rapid Development of Structural Plasticity through Short Water Maze Training: a DTI Study”, NeuroImage 155 (2017): 202-208.

  • Amedi, A., Hofstetter, S., Maidenbaum, S., & Heimler, B. “Task Selectivity as a Comprehensive Principle for Brain Organization”. Trends in Cognitive Sciences (2017).

  • Hofstetter S, Friedmann N, and Assaf Y. "Rapid language-related plasticity: microstructural changes in the cortex after a short session of new word learning." Brain Structure and Function (2016): 1-11.

  • Hofstetter S, Tavor I, Tzur-Moryosef S, Assaf Y. “Short-Term Learning Induces White Matter Plasticity in the Fornix”, J Neuroscience, 33, 12844-12850, 2013.

  • Tavor I, Hofstetter S, Assaf Y. “Micro-structural assessment of short term plasticity dynamics”, Neuroimage, 81, 1-7, 2013.

  • Sagi Y, Tavor I, Hofstetter S, Tzur-Moryosef S, Blumenfeld-Katzir T, Assaf Y. “Learning in the fast lane: new insights into neuroplasticity”, Neuron, 73, 1195-203, 2012.

  • Gaydar V, Ezrachi D, Dratviman-Storobinsky O, Hofstetter S, Avraham-Lubin BC, Goldenberg-Cohen N. “Reduction of apoptosis in ischemic retinas of two mouse models using hyperbaric oxygen treatment”. Invest Ophthalmology Vis Sci, 52, 7514-22, 2011.


Awards

  • 2015. Merit Abstract Award from the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM)

  • 2014. Anat Krauskopf travel award

    2014. The Sieratzki prize for students for publication in the field of neuroscience

    2013. The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) Magna cum Laude Merit Award

    2013. Adams Super Center travel award

    2013. The Alfredo Federico Strauss Center for Computational Neuro-Imaging Travel Award

    2013. International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) Trainee Stipend Travel Award

    2012. International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) Trainee Stipend Travel Award

    2012. Life Sciences faculty's excellence award in research and teaching.

    2010. Abstract trainee award from the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM)

    2009. Summa cum laude for the B.Sc. degree in Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University

    2009. Dean excellence award, Life Sciences Faculty, Tel Aviv University.


Contact
shirhofs@gmail.com