2024 research activities

Head Prof. Elad Schneidman

Picture of Prof. Elad Schneidman

Prof. Elad Schneidman

משרד +972-8-934-2239

רקע כללי

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

    Closed-loop perception in brains and machines
    virtual reality
    autonomous robotics
    ontogeny of tactile perception
    Sensory substitution - from vision to touch
    Temporal coding and Thalamo-cortical processing

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

    Mechanisms of tactile perception in the mice
    Collaboration with:  Heinz Beck, Bonn Alex Binshtok, Hebrew University Nicholas Priebe, Austin
    Construction of receptive field properties in the somatosensory cortex
    studying functional connectivity in the barrel cortex
    Mechanisms of adaptation in the cortex
    Balance excitation and inhibition in awake mice
    Interhemispheric correlations
    Multimodal integration
    Noise and synchrony in the mammalian cortex
    Dynamic properties and mechanisms of ongoing activity in the cortex
    Patterns in neuronal activity in the cortex

  • Picture of Dr. Yoav Livneh

    Dr. Yoav Livneh

    Interoception - perception of internal bodily signals
    Cortical computations for modulation of bodily physiology
    Continuous updating in the brain-body loop

  • 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

  • Picture of Dr. Michal Ramot

    Dr. Michal Ramot

    Integration across large-scale networks and the link to behavior in humans
    Decomposing complex tasks
    Testing causality through neurofeedback
    Developing new behavioral tools
    Probing the limits of plasticity through implicit training

  • Picture of Dr. Michal Rivlin

    Dr. Michal Rivlin

    Mechanisms underlying the computation of motion direction in the retina.
    Dynamic computations in retinal circuits.
    How do retinal targets integrate and interpret the visual signal?
    Role of dopamine in retinal processing.
    Brain-to-retina projections modulate the retinal code to match behavioural requirements

  • Picture of Dr. Rita Schmidt

    Dr. Rita Schmidt

    Developing new tools for human MRI, especially at ultra-high field 7T MRI scanner, aiming to better understand the human brain function
    Developing new methods to improve the spatial and temporal resolution in functional brain MRI
    Developing new contrast methods for functional MRI to study brain function
    Advancing dedicated MR pulse sequences to achieve fast and ultrafast high quality MR imaging and spectroscopic imaging
    Boosting the accessible MR signal in localized functional brain trials

  • 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

  • Picture of Prof. Michal Schwartz

    Prof. Michal Schwartz

    Brain-immune axis in Health and Diseases; from gene to behavior
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Ido Amit
    Immunotherapy to defeat Alzheimer’s disease
    Microbiome and Alzheimer’s disease
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Eran Elinav
    Diabetes as a risk factor in Alzheimer’s disease
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Naomi Habib, Hebrew University; Prof. Anna Greka, Broad Institute, Boston, USA.
    The Spleen –Brain axis in Alzheimer’s disease
    Familial Alzheimer’s disease
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Judit Aaron, Rambam hospital; Prof. Falik, Hagalil Hospital.
    ALS profiling at the transcriptomic level
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Ido Amit
    Immuno-Proteasome in Alzheimer’s disease
    Collaboration with:  Dr. Yifat Marbl

  • Picture of Prof. Menahem Segal

    Prof. Menahem Segal

    Intracellular calcium and structural/functional plasticity in cultured neurons.
    Collaboration with:  Dr. Eduard Korkotian
    Human Embryonic Stem Cells of Fragile X patients
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Dalit Ben Yosef (TAU)
    Network activity in cultured neurons
    Collaboration with:  Professor Elisha Moses (Physics)

  • 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

  • Picture of Prof. Nachum Ulanovsky

    Prof. Nachum Ulanovsky

    * Neural basis of natural behaviors
    * Wireles electrophysiology in freely flying bats
    * Place cells, grid cells, head-direction cells, goal-direction cells
    * Neural codes for 1-D, 2-D and 3-D space in flying bats
    * Neural coding of very large spaces (~1 kilometer), and of complex environments (large mazes)
    * Neurobiology of learning and memory: a systems neuroscience approach
    * Social-spatial cognition: Representation of other individuals in the brain, during social interactions

  • 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

  • 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 Prof. Ofer Yizhar

    Prof. Ofer Yizhar

    Mapping the synaptic organization of prefrontal cortex circuits
    Development of novel optogenetic methods for light-based control of neural activity
    Collaboration with:  Moran Shalev-Benami; Mudi Sheves
    Functional dissection of the brain circuits underlying social motivation
    Collaboration with:  Alon Chen
    Neural mechanisms of working memory and decision making
    The role of oxytocin and vasopressin in adaptation to early-life stress