Following his work with human subjects as an undergraduate, in his PhD research at the Edmond and Lily Safra for Brain Sciences (ELSC) at Hebrew University, Dr. Schectman-Drayman turned to the single neuron level in monkeys. He explored the involvement of the basal ganglia in decision‑making and learning, discoveries that may turn out to be of high clinical relevance for psychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia and major depression.
At Northwestern, Dr. Schectman-Drayman will work on developing therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), using targeted memory reactivation (TMR), a non-invasive, easily implemented and robust method that manipulates the course of learning and strengthens specific memories during slow-wave sleep. He would like to find out if TMR can control not only what we remember but also what we forget. His work will help us understand how memory stability depends on sleep, and may also improve the efficacy of clinical therapies for various other disorders. He will test his theories using biological-based measures such as EEG and other, mostly non-invasive, tools.
Dr. Schectman-Drayman has been an active volunteer within the LGBT community, including organizing several Jerusalem Pride marches. He has led scientific outreach programs for teens from many different backgrounds.