About me

A new lab website is coming soon…
I will be joining the Faculty of Engineering at Bar-Ilan University in Israel in October 2021.
I will be recruiting a lab manager, students and post-docs. Get in touch if you would like to join my new lab!

I am a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow at the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge. I was trained in computer science and psychology and worked as a software developer in the industry. I then moved back to university to pursue a PhD and a career in science. In my work, I am keen to understand basic neural mechanisms as well as apply scientific methods and knowledge to clinical use. My research is in the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and neuro-engineering, and I use multiple imaging modalities to understand brain function.

Click here for a recent film by the BBC about my work: cognitive mapping during awake brain surgeries for patients with brain tumours.

My multidisciplinary research focuses on neuroimaging of the individual brain to identify and understand functional brain networks. I use computational approaches for data analysis such as machine learning and develop methods for individual-oriented neuroimaging in clinical populations such as patients with brain tumours.

One aspect of my research focuses on the brain systems that support cognitive control – a collection of cognitive functions such as attention, planning, reasoning and problem solving. Important questions include how we implement a mental plan, allocate resources accordingly, and select the relevant information that we need. I aim to understand the organisation of these systems in individuals and the neural codes that underlie cognitive control in health and disease: how stages of processing are dynamically reflected in different types of neural signals, what happens to the neural system when it fails to appropriately process information, what factors influence these failures, and how we can improve the way we process information and solve problems.

My work combines a variety of techniques such as neuroimaging (fMRI), electrocorticography (ECoG), single-cell data, and behavioural and computational methods. The clinical branch of my work involves multi-modality functional mapping in patients with brain tumours before, during and after surgeries.

Please contact me if you are interested in joining my group: yaara.erez@mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk.

 

Biography

In 2002 I completed my B.Sc. in Computer Science and Psychology (two majors, Summa cum Laude) at Tel-Aviv University, Israel. After working as a software developer in Dmatek Ltd (currently 3M), I started my PhD in Systems neuroscience with Izhar Bar-Gad and Moshe Abeles at the Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, Bar-Ilan University, Israel. I used single-cell recordings and electrical stimulation in the basal ganglia to understand the neural mechanisms underlying deep brain stimulation (DBS) in Parkinsonism. I completed my PhD in 2010 and worked as a postdoctoral fellow for one year with Galit Yovel at the School of Psychological Sciences at Tel-Aviv University, looking at the modulation of object representation by its surroundings. I was then awarded both a Newton International postdoctoral Fellowship (The Royal Society and British Academy, UK) and a European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) long-term postdoctoral fellowship. In 2012, I moved to the UK to work with John Duncan at the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at the University of Cambridge and study the neural representations of task-related information. In 2014 I was awarded a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowship to establish my independent research programme. From October 2021 I will be joining the Faculty of Engineering at Bar-Ilan University in Israel as a Senior Lecturer.

 

More links:

Google Scholar

My Royal Society page

My Cambridge Neuroscience page

My Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (CBU) page