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Moshe Abeles


The synfire chains that reverberate in the various parts of the brain
can resonate one with the other, 
thus generating a unified mental experience

His fields of study are neurophysiology, biomedical engineering, psychobiology, computational neuroscience... His academic résumé intimidates both people in his field and the general public.   His relentless work in Israeli and European laboratories, where he has never worried too much about interdisciplinary hurdles, has led him to the outer limits of research into the human mind. This region explores intuition, experimental hypotheses and models destined to change our idea of the "Self". And, therefore, of the world.  


Moshe Abeles was born in Tel Aviv in 1936. After having served in the Nahal parachute brigade, he studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He earned his Masters of Science, carrying out research into the influence of breathing on EEG waves under the guidance of Prof. J. L. Magnes, who would also be his advisor for his doctorate on the Mechanisms of EEG Synchronization and Desynchronization. After specializing in biomedical engineering at John Hopkins University, Moshe Abeles became a researcher, associate professor and finally Professor of Neurophysiology at the Hebrew University. At the same time, he also lectures in various Swiss and US universities and coordinates the work of about 20 PhD students working on neurophysiology-related matters. During his career, he has been the Director of the Department of Physiology at Hebrew University, Director of the National Institute for Psychobiology in Israel, Head of the Interdisciplinary Center for Neural Computation, Head of the Life Sciences Section of the Israel Science Foundation, and Director of the Leslie and Susan Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center at Bar Ilan University (founded in 2002), a role he still holds. "How perceptions, memory and intentions are represented in neuronal activity in the mind is not known. Our research is focused on discovering these representations and understanding the neuronal mechanisms that generate them. This dual effort includes recording the activities of groups of neurons in parallel sequences in monkey brains, using new mathematical methods for the analysis and verifying the theory through the creation of neuronal networks that simulate the processes of the mind". Moshe Abeles has received numerous honors, such as the Baeck prize for three studies on EEGs, the first IAPI prize for a study on computer-assisted analysis of neuronal activity, the Teva Founders Prize for extraordinary studies in brain research, and the Shamoon Chair of Bar Ilan University. He is an honorary member of the John Hopkins’ Alumni Association and holder of the Ernest and Mona Spiegel Chair at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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