The Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo
Tel Aviv, Israel
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Avitsur R.,The Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo
Behavioural Brain Research | Year: 2017

Stress during pregnancy is associated with lifetime negative consequences for the offspring. The present study examined the effects of prenatal stress on symptoms of illness following an immune challenge in mice. Additionally, this study examined whether pretreatment with fluoxetine (FLX) could prevent the effects of maternal stress on illness symptoms. Mice prenatally exposed to stress, with or without FLX were administered with saline or endotoxin. In males, prenatal stress significantly augmented endotoxin-induced body-weight loss and reduced food consumption; prenatal FLX did not prevent these responses, and, in many cases, augmented them. In females, prenatal stress worsened endotoxin-induced suppression of sucrose intake, and prenatal FLX reversed this effect. These findings provide the first indication of altered response to an immune challenge following prenatal stress and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatment. These results may have implications for health and well-being of offspring exposed to stress during pregnancy. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Avitsur R.,The Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo
Behavioural Pharmacology | Year: 2017

Women with major depressive disorder during pregnancy often use selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) antidepressants. These drugs readily cross the placental barrier and impact the developing fetal brain. Recently, we reported that prenatal fluoxetine (FLX), an SSRI antidepressant drug, altered corticosterone and behavioral responses to stress in female mouse offspring. The present study assessed the effects of prenatal FLX on these responses in males. The results showed that prenatal FLX significantly augmented the corticosterone response to acute stress in young prepubescent mice. The corticosterone response to continuous stress was not affected by prenatal FLX irrespective of age. In addition, continuous stress reduced general activity, and anxiety-like and depressive-like behaviors in adult animals prenatally exposed to FLX, but not in controls. The dexamethasone suppression test showed that prenatal FLX induced a state of glucocorticoid insensitivity in adult males, indicating that the negative feedback control of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis response to stress was disrupted. Together, these findings indicate that prenatal FLX altered hormonal and behavioral responses to stress and suggest a role for the development of glucocorticoid insensitivity in these effects. These findings may aid understanding of the limitations and precautions that should be taken in the use of SSRIs by pregnant women. Copyright © 2017 YEAR Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Kronfeld-Schor N.,Tel Aviv University | Einat H.,University of Minnesota | Einat H.,The Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo
Neuropharmacology | Year: 2012

Most organisms (including humans) developed daily rhythms in almost every aspect of their body. It is not surprising that rhythms are also related to affect in health and disease. In the present review we present data that demonstrate the evidence for significant interactions between circadian rhythms and affect from both human studies and animal models research. A number of lines of evidence obtained from human and from animal models research clearly demonstrate relationships between depression and circadian rhythms including (1) daily patterns of depression; (2) seasonal affective disorder; (3) connections between circadian clock genes and depression; (4) relationship between sleep disorders and depression; (5) the antidepressant effect of sleep deprivation; (6) the antidepressant effect of bright light exposure; and (7) the effects of antidepressant drugs on sleep and circadian rhythms. The integration of data suggests that the relationships between the circadian system and depression are well established but the underlying biology of the interactions is far from being understood. We suggest that an important factor hindering research into the underlying mechanisms is the lack of good animal models and we propose that additional efforts in that area should be made. One step in that direction could be the attempt to develop models utilizing diurnal animals which might have a better homology to humans with regard to their circadian rhythms. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Anxiety and Depression'. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IRSES | Award Amount: 222.00K | Year: 2013

The Fregean-inspired Principle of Compositionality of Meaning (PoC), for formal languages, may be construed as asserting that the meaning of a compound expression is deterministically (and often recursively) analysable in terms of the meaning of its constituents, taking into account the mode in which these constituents are combined so as to form the compound expression. From a logical point of view, this amounts to prescribing a constraint --that may or may not be respected-- on the internal mechanisms that build and give meaning to a given formal system. Within the domain of formal semantics and of the structure of logical derivations, PoC is often directly reflected by metaproperties such as truth-functionality and analyticity, characteristic of computationally well-behaved logical systems. The project GeTFun aims at being a coordinated exchange programme for the investigation of compositional meaning in logic and applications. The consortium will study various well-motivated ways in which the attractive properties and metaproperties of truth-functional logics may be stretched so as to cover more extensive logical grounds. The ubiquity of non-classical logics in the formalization of practical reasoning demands the formulation of more flexible theories of meaning and compositionality that allow for the establishment of coherent and inclusive bases for their understanding. Such investigations presuppose not only the development of adequate frameworks from the perspectives of Model Theory, Proof Theory and Universal Logic, but also the construction of solid bridges between the related approaches based on various generalizations of truth-functionality. Applications of broadly truth-functional logics, in their various guises, are envisaged in several areas of computer science, mathematics, philosophy and linguistics, where the ever increasing complexity of systems continuously raise new and difficult challenges to compositionality.

Braunstein-Bercovitz H.,The Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo
International Journal of Stress Management | Year: 2013

The purpose of the current study was to examine a theoretically-based multidimensional model, delineating the nature of the associations between perceived gain of three types of organizational resources and burnout, through the mediation of various dimensions of the work-family conflict (WFC). A sample of 179 mothers of young children, holding demanding careers (hospital nurses) completed several questionnaires. Consistent with the Conservation of Resources theory, structural equation modeling analysis (X2 = 9.24, df = 5, NFI = .93, CFI= .94, TLI = .90, and SRMR = .066) indicated that personal-empowerment (e.g., enhanced self-esteem and a sense of mastery and autonomy) and a supportive work-family culture at the workplace are negatively associated with burnout (β = .32, -.17). The relationship between personalempowerment and burnout was fully mediated by the strain-based source of both work interferes with family and family interferes with work dimensions of the conflict (β = -.18, -.15). These results imply that personal-empowerment may augment resiliency and general resistance to stressors, as it attenuates strain spillover from the work to the family domains, as well as from the family to the work domains. The relationship between a supportive work-family culture and burnout was fully mediated by the work interferes with family dimension (both strain- and time-based sources). However, reduced workload (in terms of sufficient time and space) was excluded from the final model, as it did not contribute to reduced WFC and burnout, above the contribution of the other resourcetypes. Implications for career planning and organizational change processes are discussed. © 2013 American Psychological Association.

Arieli O.,The Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2013

In this paper we propose a new presentation of logic-based argumentation theory through Gentzen-style sequent calculi. We show that arguments may be represented by Gentzen-type sequents and that attacks between arguments may be represented by sequent elimination rules. This framework is logic-independent, i.e., it may be based on arbitrary languages and consequence relations. Moreover, the usual conditions of minimality and consistency of support sets are relaxed, allowing for a more flexible way of expressing arguments, which also simplifies their identification. This generic representation implies that argumentation theory may benefit from incorporating techniques of proof theory and that different non-classical formalisms may be used for backing up intended argumentation semantics. © 2013 Springer-Verlag.

Einat H.,The Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo
Harvard Review of Psychiatry | Year: 2014

There is a well-known deficiency in valid animalmodels for bipolar disorder. Developing the single idealmodel for the disorder-one that will represent its full scope-will probably not be possible until we have a much better understanding of the underlying pathology. Yet, intermediatemodels, even with partial validity, are critical in order to advance our knowledge and put us into position to develop even better models. The present article discusses the various efforts under way to develop the best models based on our current level of understanding. These efforts include (1) identifying new tests, (2) developing models based on the endophenotypes approach, (3) identifying the best rodent strains, (4) identifying the most appropriate species, (5) segregating susceptible versus resilient animals, and (6) segregating animals that respond or do not respond to treatment. It is suggested that a combined approach that includes these directions and others can result in better models with higher validity that will offer significant help in advancing research on bipolar disorder and developing new and better treatments. © 2014 President and Fellows of Harvard College.

Akavia A.,The Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory | Year: 2014

We present a deterministic algorithm for finding the significant Fourier frequencies of a given signal f ∈ C N and their approximate Fourier coefficients in running time and sample complexity polynomial in N, L1(f̂)/||f̂2, and 1/τ , where the significant frequencies are those occupying at least a τ-fraction of the energy of the signal, and L1(f̂) denotes the L1-norm of the Fourier transform of f. Furthermore, the algorithm is robust to additive random noise. This strictly extends the class of compressible/Fourier sparse signals efficiently handled by previous deterministic algorithms for signals in CN. As a central tool, we prove there is a deterministic algorithm that takes as input N , ε and an arithmetic progression P in ZN, runs in time polynomial in ln N and 1/ε, and returns a set AP that ε-approximates P in ZN in the sense that equation presented}. In other words, we show there is an explicit construction of sets AP of size polynomial in ln N and 1/ε that ε-approximate given arithmetic progressions P in ZN. This extends results on small-bias sets, which are sets approximating the entire domain, to sets approximating a given arithmetic progression; this result may be of independent interest. © 1963-2012 IEEE.

Ben-Amram A.M.,The Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo
Logical Methods in Computer Science | Year: 2010

Size-Change Termination (SCT) is a method of proving program termination based on the impossibility of infinite descent. To this end we may use a program abstraction in which transitions are described by monotonicity constraints over (abstract) variables. Size-change graphs are a subclass where only constraints of the form x > y′ and x ≥ y′ are allowed. Both theory and practice are now more evolved in this restricted framework than in the general framework of monotonicity constraints. This paper shows that it is possible to adapt and extend some theory from the domain of size-change graphs to the general case, thus complementing previous work on monotonicity constraints. In particular, we present precise decision procedures for termination; and we provide a procedure to construct explicit global ranking functions from monotonicity constraints in singly-exponential time, which is better than what has been published so far even for size-change graphs. © Ben-Amram.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRG | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2009-RG | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2010

One of the most significant and dangerous social and public health problem facing adolescents today is sleep loss. Chronic partial sleep deprivation has achieved epidemic proportions in youth, with approximately 80% of teens not getting the needed amount of nightly sleep. Despite the alarmingly high rates of sleep deprivation in teens, its impact on daytime function, including sleepiness, mood, and cognition remain poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, we intend to examine sleep, neuropsychological (NP) performance, and mood in the natural environment in 40 healthy adolescents (ages 16-18; 50% female). Each teen will undergo 2 different sleep conditions: 1) an extended sleep period consisting of 5 consecutive days of 10-10.5 hrs in bed/night; and 2) a typical sleep period consisting of 5 consecutive days of 7.5-8.0 hrs in bed/night (the common sleep duration for this age group). The former will provide sleep satiation or optimal biological sleep need (for this age group), while the latter will result in an insufficient amount of sleep. Each teen will be randomly assigned to one of the sleep conditions, followed by a 2-week recovery period, and then the other sleep condition. Sleep testing will include continuous actigraphic monitoring throughout each sleep protocol and one overnight polysomnography recording at the beginning of the study to rule out any sleep disorders. Following the last night of each sleep condition, teens will undergo a battery of standardized NP tests to examine performance in cognitive areas previously found to be related sleep deprivation, including verbal learning, memory, processing speed and attention, inhibition, working memory, and executive function. Findings will increase our knowledge of the correlates of sleep loss in teens and will be useful public policy and education data. Furthermore, it will allow the researcher the opportunity to continue her line of research and reintegrate into the host country.

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