Zuckerman Israeli Postdoctoral Alumna, Dr. Merav Stern, developed her expertise in applied mathematics in brain sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle
One of the alumni of the Zuckerman Israeli Postdoctoral program, Dr. Merav Stern developed her expertise in applied mathematics in brain sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Dr. Stern researches brain activity to determine how the brain processes information. She identifies areas of the brain that alter their activity during the course of learning a visually-guided behavioral task, and assesses and observes intrinsic changes in comparison to alterations produced by external influences from other cortical areas.
Our brains are complex systems made up of an immense variety of components on multiple scales. A predominant component is the neuron, the building block of the brain. While researchers have learned a tremendous amount from recent experiments on neuron patterns of connectivity and activity, just how neurons come together through their connections to form coherent brain activity remains a puzzling question.
This research can help us understand how neural networks adapt to solve cognitive tasks like counting, motor planning, recognition and more. For example, this type of analysis uncovers how neuronal connectivity patterns in the olfactory cortex transform smells into activity that allows us to recognize odors across many concentrations.