In the Spotlight

ELSC’S 2021 recruits

Get to know our new members, Dr. Aya Ben-Yakov and Dr. Jonathan Kadmon

Dr. Aya Ben-Yakov

Aya’s academic career started at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she completed her bachelor’s degree in computer science as a participant in the “Amirim” program.  Aya then earned her master’s and doctoral degrees, both in neurobiology, with Prof. Yadin Dudai at the Weizmann Institute of Science. She then moved to Cambridge University for her postdoctoral training with Prof. Rik Henson, which she completed as a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin fellow.

Aya is interested in using neuroimaging in humans to reveal how continuous experience is transformed into discrete memories. In her lab, she plans to use fMRI data to explore fundamental properties of hippocampal function and their contribution to ongoing experience.

For Aya, there are many opportunities to collaborate with other ELSC researchers, such as testing similar predictions in animal models, formulating links between the processing of events and the processing of language, and expanding learning models to the continuous experience. “I’m excited to join the ELSC community,” she said, adding that she is “looking forward to being inspired and challenged, to heated scientific debates, and to taking my research to a new level through collaborations with this amazing group of scientists.”  

Dr. Jonathan Kadmon

Jonathan’s academic career started at Tel Aviv University, where he studied physics and biology. He then continued with a master’s degree in Physics from Tel Aviv University and a doctoral degree in Physics at the Hebrew University, under the supervision of ELSC member Prof. Haim Sompolinsky. After finishing his Ph.D., Jonathan completed his postdoctoral training at Stanford University in the lab of Prof. Surya Ganguli.

Jonathan’s research focuses on the interface of machine learning and neuroscience. Recent technological developments in the two fields allow for exciting research for understanding how biological behavior emerges from circuit dynamics and connectivity.

 “ELSC is a world leader in promoting interdisciplinary research, and I look forward to creating diverse partnerships,” Jonathan said. “I hope my lab will be a hub for researchers and students across ELSC looking to include machine-learning-based or theoretical models in their work.” 

“Working memory”