Sagol faculty


Dr. Yuval Nir

Dept. of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine




Research topic: Sleep and its relation to cognition

Research methods: Parallel studies in behaving animals (rats and mice) and humans using a combination of these techniques:

  1. Electrophysiology: single-unit activity, local field potentials, EEG
  2. Optogenetics
  3. Auditory stimulation
  4. Functional MRI
  5. Intracranial recordings in neurosurgical patients
  6. Electrical stimulation
  7. Manipulation and recording of neuromodulatory activities

Main projects in the lab include:

  1. Investigating how the internal state of brain activity determines sensory processing: how behavioral states (wakefulness, sleep, anesthesia) and cognitive states (vigilance, attention, expectation) modify responsiveness and perception.
  2. Studying the restorative value of sleep for cognition: what are the specific patterns of neuronal activity in sleep that have a causal role in cognitive restoration? how does sleep deprivation affect brain activity and behavior?
  3. Using spontaneous brain activity and sleep as unique windows into the activity of functional networks in healthy subjects and patient populations (can individual sleep profiles be used to further our ability for diagnosis and prognosis in an array of brain disorders?)