Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging

Tel Aviv, Israel

Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging

Tel Aviv, Israel
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Perry D.,Haifa University | Hendler T.,Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging | Hendler T.,Tel Aviv University | Shamay-Tsoory S.G.,Haifa University
NeuroImage | Year: 2011

Humans have a striking tendency to use past autobiographical events to understand their own behavior. However, it is unknown if we use our own memories to understand others. To assess the role of autobiographical memory in mentalizing we examined the contribution of memory structures, specifically the hippocampus, to emotional judgment of others. Subjects were scanned while making emotional judgments regarding themselves, and protagonists deemed similar to or dissimilar from themselves. Results indicated a significant correlation between rating of the self and the similar protagonists, particularly for the events subjects recalled from their past. Furthermore, we found an interaction between similarity and recollection so that only for events subjects recalled from their past, the hippocampus reacted differently for judgments regarding the self versus dissimilar others, but not for self versus similar others. These results suggest that people actually use their own repertoire of memories and project internal self knowledge while making emotional judgments regarding others. It is speculated that mentalizing is modulated by memories of similar past events and depends on the protagonist we face. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Admon R.,Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging | Admon R.,Tel Aviv University | Lubin G.,Israel Defense Forces | Rosenblatt J.D.,Tel Aviv University | And 6 more authors.
Cerebral Cortex | Year: 2013

Trauma-related psychopathology has been associated with an intense emotional reaction to stressful event. Emotional responses have evolved to signal the presence of risks to be avoided or of rewards to be approached in the environment. Thus, individuals' sensitivity to signals of risk and reward may affect the level of stress vulnerability. Stress, however, can modify these sensitivities as well. In the current functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we prospectively probed the neural correlates of such sensitivities in 24 healthy soldiers by using an interactive game that encompasses risky and rewarding intervals both pre-exposure and post-exposure to stressful military service. As expected, risky and rewarding intervals elicited selective responses in the amygdala and nucleus accumbens (Nacc), respectively. Furthermore, increased post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms post-exposure (i.e., stress vulnerability) corresponded to greater amygdala's response to risk both pre-exposure and post-exposure and to decreased NAcc response to reward only post-exposure. By combining these regional responsivities post-exposure, we accurately identified all the most vulnerable soldiers. Imbalanced neural responsivity to risk and reward following exposure to stress may therefore constitute a marker for stress vulnerability. Such identification of vulnerability biomarkers can aid future diagnostic and therapeutic efforts by allowing early detection of vulnerability as well as follow up on patient's treatment progression. © 2012 The Author.

Perry D.,Haifa University | Hendler T.,Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging | Hendler T.,Tel Aviv University | Shamay-Tsoory S.G.,Haifa University
Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience | Year: 2012

The neural bases of empathy have been examined mainly in the context of reacting to others' distress, while almost no attention has been paid to the mechanisms by which we share others' joy. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we demonstrated that the same neural network mediates judgment of the emotional state of the other in response to both negative and positive events through empathy-related structures, such as the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), the insula, the superior temporal sulcus (STS) and the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). However, the responses of the MPFC, bilateral insula and the right IFG to negative experiences occurring to the other (but not to the self) were found to be much more intense than the responses to positive experiences, indicating that humans have a remarkable ability to share the distress of others, but may react less to the joy of others. © The Author (2011). Published by Oxford University Press.

Glikmann-Johnston Y.,Monash University | Oren N.,Tel Aviv University | Oren N.,Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging | Oren N.,Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center | And 4 more authors.
Neuropsychologia | Year: 2015

Verbal fluency tasks are typically used in neuropsychological practice for assessment of language function in a variety of neurological disorders. Recently, it has been shown that the hippocampus, a region thought to be exclusive to the domain of memory, is also involved in tests of semantic fluency. The present study further explores hippocampal contribution to verbal fluency using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and examining mean activity and inter-regional functional connectivity with known task-related brain regions. Given the clear lateralization of brain areas involved in language, lateralization of hippocampal involvement in semantic and phonemic word fluency was also investigated. Different hippocampal recruitment during semantic and phonemic fluency was found: greater change in activity was seen during semantic fluency, as compared with phonemic fluency. This pattern was obtained in the right and the left hippocampus, with no lateralization effects. Functional connectivity analyses corroborate the notion of selective contribution of the hippocampus to semantic fluency. During the semantic fluency task, connectivity levels between the hippocampi and components of the semantic network did not differ from connectivity levels within the semantic network. In contrast, during the phonemic fluency task, the hippocampi were less correlated with components of the phonemic network, as compared to the within phonemic network connectivity. Importantly, hippocampal connectivity with the semantic network was task-dependent and restricted to periods of semantic fluency performance. Altogether, results suggest that the right and the left hippocampus are integral components of the brain network that selectively supports verbal semantic fluency, but not phonemic fluency. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Gilam G.,Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging | Gilam G.,Tel Aviv University | Hendler T.,Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging | Hendler T.,Tel Aviv University
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews | Year: 2016

Human emotional experiences naturally occur while interacting in a spontaneous, dynamic and response contingent fashion with other humans. This resonates with both theoretical considerations as well as neuroimaging findings that illustrate the nexus between the “social” and “emotional” brain suggesting a domain-general organization of the brain. Nevertheless, most knowledge in affective neuroscience stems from studying the brain in isolation from its natural social environment. Whether social interactions are constitutive or not to the understanding of other people's intentions, incorporating such interactions is clearly required for ecological validity. Moreover, since interpersonal interactions may influence emotional experiences and expressions, interactive paradigms may advance the theoretical understanding of what emotions are and what about them is social, and will correspondingly characterize their underlying neural substrates. We highlight the recent conceptual and experimental advances of bringing realistic social interactions into the neuroimaging lab; review emotion-induction paradigms and consider their congruency with features of social interactions; and emphasize the importance of embedding such spontaneous and dynamic interactive paradigms in the field of affective neuroscience. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

Admon R.,Harvard University | Milad M.R.,Harvard University | Hendler T.,Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging | Hendler T.,Tel Aviv University
Trends in Cognitive Sciences | Year: 2013

Discriminating neural abnormalities into the causes versus consequences of psychopathology would enhance the translation of neuroimaging findings into clinical practice. By regarding the traumatic encounter as a reference point for disease onset, neuroimaging studies of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can potentially allocate PTSD neural abnormalities to either predisposing (pre-exposure) or acquired (post-exposure) factors. Based on novel research strategies in PTSD neuroimaging, including genetic, environmental, twin, and prospective studies, we provide a causal model that accounts for neural abnormalities in PTSD, and outline its clinical implications. Current data suggest that abnormalities within the amygdala and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex represent predisposing risk factors for developing PTSD, whereas dysfunctional hippocampal-ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) interactions may become evident only after having developed the disorder. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Elkana O.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Elkana O.,Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging | Frost R.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Kramer U.,Sourasky Medical Center | And 2 more authors.
Cortex | Year: 2013

The goal of the present study was to investigate whether spontaneous functional recovery following insult to the language-dominant hemisphere continues in the so-called " chronic stage," and if so, to examine its neuro-functional correlates. We used a longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) block design, where each young patient served as his/her own control. Specifically, we examined whether language functions differed significantly in two monitoring sessions conducted years apart, both in the chronic stage, where almost no functional changes are expected. We focused on a unique cohort of young brain damaged patients with aphasiogenic lesions occurring after normal language acquisition, in order to maximize the potential of plasticity for language reorganization following brain damage. The most striking finding was that the linguistic recovery of our patients was significant not just relative to their linguistic scores on initial testing (T1), but also in absolute terms, relative to the respective age-matched normal population. Such improvement, therefore, cannot be simply attributed to the natural process of development. Overall, we found that right hemisphere (RH) activation was associated with better recovery in the chronic stage. Our longitudinal findings may challenge the view of recovery as ending within the first year following onset, suggesting that the RH may provide the substrate for ongoing plasticity in the damaged brain. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Dvash J.,Haifa University | Gilam G.,Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging | Ben-Ze'ev A.,Haifa University | Hendler T.,Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging | Shamay-Tsoory S.G.,Haifa University
Human Brain Mapping | Year: 2010

Humans have a drive to evaluate themselves by examining their abilities and outcomes in comparison to others. The present study examined the emotional and neural correlates of upward social comparison (comparison with those who have more) and downward social comparison (comparison with those who have less). Two experiments were conducted with volunteers in an interactive game of chance, in which a putative player won or lost more money than the participant. The results showed that even when participants lost money, they expressed joy and schadenfreude (gloating) if the other player had lost more money. On the other hand when they actually won money, but the other player had won more they expressed envy. This pattern was also demonstrated in a differential BOLD response in the ventral striatum. Comparing the activations between an actual gain and a relative gain indicated that even when a person loses money, merely adding information about another person's greater loss may increase ventral striatum activations to a point where these activations are similar to those of an actual gain. We suggest that the ventral striatum plays a role in mediating the emotional consequences of social comparison. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Ziv M.,Haifa University | Tomer R.,Haifa University | Defrin R.,Tel Aviv University | Hendler T.,Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging | Hendler T.,Tel Aviv University
Human Brain Mapping | Year: 2010

Anxiety arising during pain expectancy can modulate the subjective experience of pain. However, individuals differ in their sensitivity to pain expectancy. The amygdale and hippocampus were proposed to mediate the behavioral response to aversive stimuli. However, their differential role in mediating anxiety-related individual differences is not clear. Using fMRI, we investigated brain activity during expectancy to cued or uncued thermal pain applied to the wrist. Following each stimulation participants rated the intensity of the painful experience. Activations in the amygdala and hippocampus were examined with respect to individual differences in harm avoidance (HA) personality trait, and individual sensitivity to expectancy, (i.e. response to cued vs. uncued painful stimuli). Only half of the subjects reported on cued pain as being more painful than uncued pain. In addition, we found a different activation profile for the amygdala and hippocampus during pain expectancy and experience. The amygdala was more active during expectancy and this activity was correlated with HA scores. The hippocampal activity was equally increased during both pain expectancy and experience, and correlated with the individual's sensitivity to expectancy. Our findings suggest that the amygdala supports an innate tendency to approach or avoid pain as reflected in HA trait, whereas the hippocampus mediates the effect of context possibly via appraisal of the stimulus value. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Sadeh B.,Tel Aviv University | Pitcher D.,Laboratory of Brain and Cognition | Brandman T.,Tel Aviv University | Eisen A.,Tel Aviv University | And 2 more authors.
Current Biology | Year: 2011

Neural selectivity to specific object categories has been demonstrated in extrastriate cortex with both functional MRI [1-3] and event-related potential (ERP) [4, 5]. Here we tested for a causal relationship between the activation of category-selective areas and ERP to their preferred categories. Electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded while participants observed faces and headless bodies. Concurrently with EEG recording, we delivered two pulses of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the right occipital face area (OFA) or extrastriate body area (EBA) at 60 and 100 ms after stimulus onset. Results showed a clear dissociation between the stimulated site and the stimulus category on ERP modulation: stimulation of the OFA significantly increased the N1 amplitude to faces but not to bodies, whereas stimulation of the EBA significantly increased the N1 amplitude to bodies but not to faces. These findings provide the first evidence for a specific and causal link between activity in category-selective networks and scalp-recorded ERP to their preferred categories. This result also demonstrates that the face and body N1 reflects several nonoverlapping neural sources, rather than changes in face-selective mechanisms alone. Lastly, because early stimulation (60-100 ms) affected selectivity of a later ERP component (150-200 ms), the results could imply a feed-forward connection between occipital and temporal category-selective areas. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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