2017 research activities

Head Prof. Alon Chen

Picture of Prof. Alon Chen
Head

Prof. Alon Chen

Office +972-8-934-4490

Overview

Research in Neuroscience in the Department of Neurobiology encompasses a wide variety of subjects, in areas including cellular and molecular biology, neuroanatomy, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), physiology, pharmacology, psychophysics, and computational sciences.

Basically, the research of the various groups of the Department covers, among others, the following topics:

  • Analysis of the molecular and cellular basis of neuronal and synaptic function.
  • Imaging of neuronal activity underlying higher brain functions.
  • Tracing and characterization of neuronal communication profiles.
  • Characterization of the CNS response to trauma and lesion; developing molecular and cellular therapeutic agents.
  • Determination of the underlying processes and mechanisms of vision, perception, learning, and memory in behaving rodents and primates.
  • Computer modeling of brain function.

At the Neurobiology Department, the structure, function, development, and plasticity of the nervous system are studied at various levels of analysis, using different types of cell and experimental animal models. The groups studying neuronal function at the molecular and cellular levels use in vitro systems ranging from non-neuronal and neuronal cell lines to primary neuronal and glial cells of cerebellar, hippocampal and cortical origin. In many cases, the cells studied are transfected with genes of interest. These cell systems allow the study of the roles of various components of the nervous system, including cell surface membrane components, specific enzymes, neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, growth factors, neuroreceptors, lipid components, ionic channels and cytoskeletal constituents. Algorithms for the synaptic plasticity between neurons, and the role of dendritic ion channels in synaptic input and information processing, are also being studied. Injury models of nerve lesion and oxidative stress paradigms are applied to examine the principles of CNS regeneration, rescue from ischemia and stroke, and apoptotic cell death and senescence.

The groups studying the CNS at the system level are striving to understand the complex neuronal mechanisms underlying learning, memory, and sensory processing (vision, taste, smell), and to determine the relationship between brain and mind. Using track tracing methods, the rules governing the interconnections in the visual cortex are being unraveled. Behavioral studies focus on principles of learning and consolidation, cortical information processing, learning disabilities, and addiction. Functional brain imaging of the human visual cortex is being studied by various techniques, including fMRI. Psychophysical approaches are being used to define processes involved in image segmentation, learning and memory skill acquisition, motor control, and language. Nearly 20 groups of researchers carry out both independent studies and collaborative research with colleagues from within the Department and outside it.

ScientistsShow details

  • Picture of Prof. Ehud Ahissar

    Prof. Ehud Ahissar

    Active sensing: Mechanisms of closed loop perception.
    Biomimetic technology for active vibrissal touch
    Object localization
    Sensory substitution - from vision to touch

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  • Picture of Prof. Yadin Dudai

    Prof. Yadin Dudai

    The role of saliency-and novelty-detectors in the acquisition and retention of memory in brain.
    Mechanisms of memory consolidation, reconsolidation and extinction in the mammalian brain.
    Theories of learning and memory.

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  • Picture of Prof. Amiram Grinvald

    Prof. Amiram Grinvald

    The Interactions between evoked and on-going activity and their potential functional role in cortical processing.
    Collaboration with:  D. Omer, M. Tsodyks
    The space-time dynamics of cortical activity as revealed by population activity (EEG, LFP and real-time optical imaging) coupled with single-unit and intracellular recordings.
    Collaboration with:  D. Omer, L. Rom M. Tsodyks
    Cortical correlates of attention in behaving monkeys.
    Collaboration with:  D. Omer, L. Rom
    The functional architecture underlying visual perception.
    Collaboration with:  D. Omer, L. Rom,
    The dynamics of cortical representations in the visual cortex.
    Collaboration with:  S. Naaman

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  • Picture of Prof. Tali Kimchi

    Prof. Tali Kimchi

    Neuronal Basis of Sexually Dimorphic Behaviors
    Sexually dimorphic pheromone signals – perception, processing and biology function
    Characterizing novel pheromone-mediated responses in wild-caught mouse colonies
    Identifying the genetic basis of sex-typical social and reproductive behaviors
    Mapping brain circuits controlling innate social and reproductive behaviors

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  • Picture of Prof. Yitzhak Koch

    Prof. Yitzhak Koch

    Regulation of GnRH expression in the mammary gland.
    Development of cytotoxic analogs of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH).
    Expression and functions of GnRH-II in the brain and in T lymphocytes.
  • Picture of Prof. Ilan Lampl

    Prof. Ilan Lampl

    Synaptic plasticity inducted by sensory stimulation in the cortex
    Construction of receptive field properties in the somatosensory cortex
    studying functional connectivity in the barrel cortex
    Mechanisms of adaptation in the cortex
    Noise and synchrony in the mammalian cortex
    Dynamic properties and mechanisms of ongoing activity in the cortex
    Patterns in neuronal activity in the cortex

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  • Picture of Prof. Rony Paz

    Prof. Rony Paz

    Psychiatric disorders from pathologies in the amygdala-preftonal pathway (e.g. autism, anxiety-disorders, post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD), epilepsy)
    Computational approaches to coding mechanisms in the brain
    Motivational and emotional modulation of memory
    Extinction of memory
    Generalization and specificity of learning
    Neurobiology of learning and memory
    Neuronal circuits and interactions between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex

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  • Picture of Dr. Michal Rivlin

    Dr. Michal Rivlin

    Direction selective circuits in the retina and their adaptive properties.
    Dynamic computations in retinal ganglion cells.
    Mechanisms of retinal adaptation.
    Information flow along the visual pathway and interpretation of retinal adaptation by higher order visual structures.

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  • Picture of Prof. Elad Schneidman

    Prof. Elad Schneidman

    Biological networks
    Decision making and learning
    Animal swarming and collective behavior
    Computational Neuroscience
    Neural Coding
    Information and noise in neural populations
    Decoding neural activity
    Network organization and design
    Natural Scenes

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  • Picture of Prof. Michal Schwartz

    Prof. Michal Schwartz

    The cross-talk between the immune and nervous systems – autoimmunity as a mechanism of tissue repair: Molecular, cellular, physiological and behavioral aspects.
    Immunological aspects of neuronal loss in neurodegenerative and mental disorders (Alzheimer’s, ALS, Huntingdon, Glaucoma).
    Spinal cord injury and repair
    Development of vaccination for neurodegenerative disorders.
    Neurogenesis (stem cells) and inflammation in the CNS.

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  • Picture of Prof. Menahem Segal

    Prof. Menahem Segal

    Electrical activity in small hippocampal networks
    Collaboration with:  Dominik Freche
    Intracellular calcium and structural/functional plasticity in cultured neurons.
    Collaboration with:  Dr. Eduard Korkotian, Professor Michael Frotscher
    Activity maintains survival of neurons in culture
    Collaboration with:  Eldi Schonfeld-Dado
    Hippocampal structure and function during stress
    Collaboration with:  Dr. Gayane Grigoryan, Prof. Gal Richter-Levin

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  • Picture of Prof. Israel Silman

    Prof. Israel Silman

    Localization and anchorage to the plasma membrane of acetylcholinestera.
    Regulation of folding and assembly of acetylcholinesterase.
    Three-dimensional structure of acetylcholinesterase and acetylcholinesterase-anticholinesterase complexes.
  • Picture of Prof. Michail Tsodyks

    Prof. Michail Tsodyks

    Information transmission through dynamic synapses.
    Collaboration with:  H. Markram
    Modeling of cortical neuronal populations: From microcircuits to large scale networks.
    Population activity in visual cortex.
    Collaboration with:  A. Grinvald, D. Sagi

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  • Picture of Prof. Nachum Ulanovsky

    Prof. Nachum Ulanovsky

    * Neurophysiological recordings of individual neurons in freely flying bats, using radio-telemetry -- in hippocampus and entorhinal cortex
    * The neural basis of behavior
    * From the bat's biological sonar system to spatial cognition
    * Mammalian hippocampus (hippocampal place cells) and entorhinal cortex (grid cells)
    * Neuronal circuits: hippocampal and entorhinal neural activity in freely-behaving echolocating bats
    * Neural codes for 2-D and 3-D space in the mammalian brain
    * Neurobiology of learning and memory: a systems neuroscience approach

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  • Picture of Prof. Zvi Vogel

    Prof. Zvi Vogel

    Molecular mechanisms of opiate addiction, tolerance and withdrawal.
    The cannabinoid ligands, their endogenous ligands and signal transduction.
    Collaboration with:  Raphael Mechoulam
    Regulation of microglial activation by cannabinoids: Possible role in neurodegenrative and neuroinflammatory diseases

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  • Picture of Prof. Ephraim Yavin

    Prof. Ephraim Yavin

    Signal transduction and protein kinase C isozymes in brain of normal and growth-retarded fetuses.
    Free radicals and lipid modulators in the developing and aging brain.
    Novel genes during oxidative stress in utero and role of docosahexaenoic acid.
  • Picture of Dr. Ofer Yizhar

    Dr. Ofer Yizhar

    * Functional analysis of neural circuit changes associated with psychiatric disease
    * Development of novel optogenetic methods for light-based control of neural activity in vitro and in vivo
    * Synaptic organization and function in cortical networks

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