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Ehud Zohary (Udi)
Ehud Zohary
   אהוד זהרי
פרופ' לנוירוביולוגיה

Prof. of Neurobiology
Ehud Zohary (Udi)
Head of Laboratory
udiz@cc.huji.ac.il
I’m a professor at the Department of Neurobiology of the Hebrew University and a member of its Center for Neural Computation. My academic background is in systems neuroscience. I’ve done my Ph.D. (with Shaul Hochstein) on the neurophysiological correlates of the visual perception (1985-1991), and went on to do my postdoc (at Stanford, with Bill Newsome) studying aspects of motion perception and perceptual learning in behaving monkeys using multiunit recording and microstimulation techniques.
Trying to find a causal link between behaviour and brain activity has always been at the core of my research. Currently, our research is focused on a macroscopic scale using psychophysical methods, functional imaging (analogous to recording), and TMS (macro-stimulation) in humans. I’m fascinated by cortical representations: our brain’s ability to generate an internal model of the world around us and to modify it according to our ongoing experience. It clearly involves interactions between perception, our actions, their outcome, and our expectations. In an attempt to simplify things, neuroscientists all too often tend to focus on one of these elements ignoring the effects of others. For example, vision is typically studied in artificial fixation conditions, which are very different from natural vision.We are trying to go beyond this, studying vision in natural conditions. I’m also deeply interested in cortical plasticity: The degree to which our brain can change its function in young age through adulthood and the degree to which this process is functionally adaptive. One striking example of this capability that we discovered is the complete change of function of the visual cortex following blindness from birth, to a region involved in cognitive functions (verbal memory). But unfortunately this is not always the case (as recovery from stroke cases is often limited). We currently lack a deep understanding of these mechanisms which could potentially lead to great benefits in ameliorating visual and motor difficulties.

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