Constantiner School of Education and the Sagol School of Neuroscience.
Tel Aviv University
My research focuses on attention and cognitive control and the roles they play in different types of learning. In my studies I use various neuropsychological, physiological and brain imaging measures.
Throughout my career I was interested in unraveling the effects of attention on early perceptual processes and on various every-day functioning. Moreover, I always aimed at linking between basic research in attention and cognitive control and the real world, in particular in improving learning processes taking into account individual differences. Since a very early stage of my academic education I strived to develop rigorous attention tasks which allow us to identify the attention profile of each individual learner. Another important aim was (and still is) to develop effective cognitive training. The vision of developing personalized cognitive training that will facilitate learning efficiency originated long ago, when I was a very young coach of gymnasts and at the same time studied cognitive psychology. Already back then I observed how crucial it was to be attentive during learning and training, and to be able to suppress distractions and selectively focus on the exercise one should perform under various challenging conditions.
Years later, I was lucky enough to design and develop together with colleagues a battery of attention tasks, the Attention Diagnostic System – ADS, and a computerized system of attention training, the CPAT. Both the assessment and the training systems that we have developed are based on the view that attention is a multifaceted construct which includes four different functions: Sustained attention – the ability to maintain attention on a monotonous task for a long period of time; selective-spatial attention – the ability to focus attention on a restricted spatial area, inhibiting adjacent distractors; orienting attention – the ability to shift attention from one stimulus to another in a precise and effective way; executive attention – the ability to inhibit a prepotent response and the ability to resolve conflicts.
I believe every single learner can dramatically improve her/his learning efficiency when taking into account her/his cognitive strengths and weaknesses. In a series of studies that I have conducted together with colleagues it has been demonstrated that , we can train attention and cognitive control and that the outcomes of this training are transferable in various clinical populations. Based on our previous and current studies (as well as on other relevant studies), our broader mission is to develop innovative simple teaching and learning techniques that will facilitate learning according to the personal features of each individual learner.