Zohar Berman

PhD student at Prof. Daphna Joel & Prof. Yaniv Assaf's laboratory

Research title
Structural and functional brain alterations following adult sexual assault


Research project

Sexual assault is a highly frequent traumatic experience, with severe physical, interpersonal and psychological consequences. Despite its high incidence and harsh implications, and in contrast to other types of traumatic events experienced in adulthood (e.g., combat exposure), the structural and functional effects of adult sexual assault and their associations with post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and relevant psychological characteristics have been rarely studied. The aim of my study is thus to fill this gap by using multimodal MRI methodology to investigate alterations in brain macro- and micro-structure as well as in spontaneous functional connectivity, and their associations with psychological attributes in adult sexual assault female survivors. Such characterization is important for a better understanding of the implications of this traumatic experience.


Meetings

  • Berman, Z., Assaf, Y., Tarrasch, R., Ginzburg, K., & Joel, D. “Structural Alterations in the Brain and their Associations with Psychological and Psychosocial Characteristics in Sexual Assault Victims”. Oral presentation delivered at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies meeting, Dallas, Texas, November, 2016.

  • Berman, Z., Assaf, Y., Tarrasch, R., Ginzburg, K., & Joel, D. “Structural alterations in sexual assault victims: preliminary results of a voxel-based morphometry study”. Poster presentation delivered at the Brain & Behavior meeting, Haifa, Israel, February, 2016.

  • Berman, Z., Keidar, R., Friedmann, N. & Tarrasch, R. "mindful reading: mindfulness meditation positively affects reading, attention and brain activity among dyslexic students". Poster presentation delivered at the Israeli Society for Neuroscience meeting, Eilat, Israel, December, 2013.

  • Berman, Z., Keidar, R., Friedmann, N. & Tarrasch, R. "The mindful reader: On the effects of mindfulness meditation on attention and reading abilities among dyslexic students" (updated). Poster presentation delivered at the IDC Herzliya's conference "Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy: From the Brain to the Clinic", Ramat Efal, Israel, April, 2013.

  • Berman, Z., Keidar, R., Friedmann, N. & Tarrasch, R. "The mindful reader: On the effects of mindfulness meditation on attention and reading abilities among dyslexic students". Poster presentation delivered at the Brain Plasticity Symposium, Tel Aviv University, Israel, February, 2012.


Publications

  • Tarrasch, R., Berman, Z., & Friedmann, N. (2016). Mindful reading: mindfulness meditation helps keep readers with dyslexia or ADHD on the lexical track. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 578.

  • Joel, D., Berman, Z., Tavor, I., Wexler, N., Gaber, O., Stein, Y., … & Assaf, Y (2015). Sex beyond the genitalia: the human brain mosaic. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(50), 15468-15473.

  • Joel, D., Tarrasch, R., Berman, Z., Mukamel, M., & Ziv, E. (2014). Queering gender: studying gender identity in ‘normative’ individuals. Psychology & Sexuality, 5(4), 291-321.

  • Manuscripts under Review
    Joel, D., Persico, A., Salhov, M., Berman, Z., Oligschläger, S., & Averbuch, A. (submitted). Analysis of human brain structure reveals that the typical male brain is not different from the typical female brain.

  • Other Publications
    Joel, D., Persico, A., Hänggi, J., Pool, J., & Berman, Z. (2016). Reply to Chekroud et al., Del Giudice et al. and Rosenblatt: Do brains of females and males belong to two distinct populations? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(14), E1969-E1970.


Awards

  • 2016, Travel award, The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

  • 2013, M.A. in Psychobiology, School of Psychological Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Summa cum laude

    2013, Excellence scholarship, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tel-Aviv University

    2011, Excellence scholarship, School of Psychological Sciences, Tel-Aviv University

    2009-2012, Study scholarship, The Adi Lautman Interdisciplinary Program for Outstanding Students, Tel-Aviv University


Research Categories: Affective neuroscience