2006-2015, M.A. & Ph.D. in Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University, Sagol School of Neuroscience 2003-2006, B.A. in Psychology, Center for Academic Studies
I'm interested in the neural substrates of spatial navigation in rats in a challenging spatial task called ‘the Traveling Salesperson Problem’ (TSP). In this task, subjects have to find the optimal shortest route between a specific set of rewarded locations. This task has been extensively studied theoretically in Engineering, Robotics and Computer Science and has been shown to be essentially unsolvable unless ‘brute force’ is used (i.e. exploring all possibilities, choosing the shortest). However, our laboratory published evidence that rats were capable of approximating the optimal solution in less than 10 trials, naturally, with almost no prior training. How rats (but not computers) achieve this task, and the role of awake hippocampal replay in this optimization process are completely unknown.
I finished my Ph.D. in 2015 in Prof. Matti Mintz laboratory at the Tel-Aviv University.During my Ph.D. work, I have studied hippocampal mechanism of dinamic environment encoding in rats, using electrophysiology and computational methods. After completing my Ph.D studies, I joined the Computational and Experimental Neuroscience Laboratory of Dr. Jean-Marc Fellous (http://amygdala.psychdept.arizona.edu/lab.html) and began my Post-Doctoral research at the University of Arizona.
Yovel, G., Pelc, T., Lubetzky, I. (2010). It's all in your head: Why is the body inversion effect abolished for headless bodies? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance: 36(3), 759-767. Sanchez-fibla, M., Bernardet, U., Wasserman, E., Pelc, T., Mintz, M., Jackson, J.C., Lansink, C., Pennartz, C., Verschure, P. (2010). Allostatic Control for Robot Behavior Regulation: A comparative rodent-robot study. Journal of Advances in Complex Systems: 13(3), 377-403. Shechner, T., Pelc, T., Pine, D. S., Fox, N.A., Bar-Haim, Y. (2011) Flexible Attention Deployment in Threatening Contexts: An Instructed Fear Conditioning Study. Emotion.
2010 - 2014 Teaching assistant, “Research Methods in Physiological Psychology for MA students”, Tel-Aviv University.
The NSF-funded project: Multi-goal spatial sequence learning in the Hippocampus. Dr. Jean-Marc Fellous group.Electrophysiology with rats, ongoing project The NSF-funded project: Ventral and Dorsal Hippocampus inactivation and spatial navigation in complex environment. Dr. Jean-Marc Fellous group.Electrophysiology with rats, ongoing project The EU-funded project “Synthetic Forager”. Prof. Matti Mintz group, Tel Aviv Universityhttp://specs.upf.edu/sf/index.htmlElectrophysiology with rats and development of data analysis methods, 2008-2014 The EU-funded project "ReNaChip". Prof. Matti Mintz group, Tel Aviv Universityhttp://www.gtec.at/Research/Projects/ReNaChipSimulation model of the cerebellar microcircuit, 2008-2014 Emotional response to postural challenge with Dr. Meir Plotnik, Sheba Medical CenterDevelopment of physiological data analysis methods, 2014 Attention manipulation with Prof. Yair Bar-Haim, Tel Aviv UniversityElectrophysiology with human subjects, 2011 Body inversion effect with Prof. Galit Yovel, Tel Aviv UniversityfMRI and behavioral methods with human subjects, 2009
Experimental Neuroscience Computational Neuroscience