Academic background:

1956-1960 The Hebrew University, Jerusalem M.Sc. Physiology,

1960-1966 The Hebrew University, Jerusalem Ph.D. Neurophysiology

1966-1968 Johns-Hopkins Univ., Baltimore Post Doc. Biomedical Engineering


Previous employment:

2003 – Bar-Ilan University           Professor                Brain Research

1981- The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.      Professor   Neurophysiology

1973 - 1981 The Hebrew University, Jerusalem    Assoc. Prof.Neurophysiology

1969 - 1973 The Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Senior Lect. Neurophysiology 1968 - 1969 The Hebrew University, Jerusalem Lecturer

 1966 - 1968 Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore Post doc. Biomed.Eng


Administrative appointments:

2003 - Director, Gonda Brain Research Center, Bar-Ilan University

2003 - Member, BMBF committee on establishing Computational Neuroscience in Germany.

1996 – 1999 Director, Life-Sciences division of the Israel National Science Foundation.

1992 - 1999 Director, The Interdisciplinary Center for Neural Computation, The Hebrew University.

1984 - 1994 Director, The Israel Center for Psychobiology.

1977 - 1980 Director, The Israel Center for Psychobiology.

1974 - 1977 Chairman, Department of Physiology, The Hebrew University



 1968 Back prize for 3 papers on excitability of EEG synchronizing and desynchronizing neurons.

1971   I.A.P.I. First prize for work on "Computer aided analysis of nerve cell activity".

1980 Dr. Mona and Dr. Ernest Spiegel Chair of Neurophysiology

1980 Visiting professor, Universite de Lausanne

1986 Visiting professor, University of Pennsylvania

1986 Johns Hopkins Society of scholars

1996 Teva founders prize for outstanding work in brain research

1999 Miller visiting professor, UC Berkeley, USA 2004 Emet prize, Israel

2004 - Emet prize, Israel


Editorial Tasks:

Advisory Board of NETWORK: Computation in Neural Systems. Action Editor of Journal of Computational Neuroscience. Editorial Board of Neuroscience. Reviewer for: Nature, Science, J. Neuroscience, J. Neurophysiology, Biol. Cybern., J. Neurosci. Methods


Grants (Last Years):

1997-2000 USA-Israel Binational Science Foundation (with G. L. Gerstein, Philadelphia)

1998-2001 GIF (with A. Aertsen, Freiburg)

2000-2006 Center of Excellence of Israel Science Foundation (with H. Bergman, H. Sompolinsky, N. Tishby & E. Vaadia, all from Jerusalem). 2002-2005 GIF (with A. Aertsen, Freiburg)

2003-2005 Horowitz fund

2004-2008 DIP (with M. Teicher, T. Flash and T. Geisel, Goetingen)


Research Interests


The way in which perceptions, memories, intentions, etc., are represented in the nervous activity of the brain is not known. The main focus of this field of investigation is to discover these representations and understand the neuronal mechanism which generates them. This is a combined effort including recording the activities of several nerve cells in parallel from appropriate places in the brain of behaving monkeys, devising new mathematical methods for analyzing the data, and verifying the theory by constructing (by way of simulations) neural networks which mimic the postulated brain processes.


So far the results indicate that the prevailing view about coding by enhanced neural activity is only part of the truth. The exact timing of nerve cell activity contains much of the information about what is happening in the brain. This timing can be "read" by neurons due to their sensitivity to synchronized activation. This same property also serves as the basic mechanism by which exact timing is generated. A neural-network known as a synfire chain can both read and generate such well -timed activities. The experimental results support the synfire hypothesis and extend it by suggesting that activity reverberates in such synfire modes. We assume that reverberating synfire chains in different brain locations can resonate with each other, thereby generating a unified "mental" experience.


Publications & Work in progress


List of publications Monographs:

1. Abeles M. Local Cortical Circuits: An Electrophysiological study. Springer, Berlin, 1982.

2. Abeles M. Corticonics: Neural circuits of the cerebral cortex. Cambridge University Press, New-York, 1991.

Book Chapters:

1. Abeles M. A journey into the brain. Inbar G.F. (ed.) Signal analysis and pattern recognition in biomedical engineering. J. Wiley, New-York, pp.41-49, 1975.

2. Abeles M., Assaff Y., Gottlieb Y., Hodies Y. and Vaadia E. Speculations on a neural substrate for immediate memory. In: Galun R., Hillman P., Parnas I. and Werman R. (eds.) Sensory physiology and behavior. Advances in behavioral biology, vol 15:177-126, 1975.

3. Goldstein M.H.Jr. and Abeles M. Single unit activities of the auditory cortex. Keidel W.D. and Neff W.D. (eds.) Handbook of sensory physiology, vol 5:199-218. Springer Verlag, Berlin, 1975.

4. Abeles M. Pattern recognition in neurobiology. In: Fu K.S. and Pavlidis T. (eds.) Biomedical pattern recognition and image processing. Dahlem Konferenze vol 15:251-268, 1979.

5. Cooper D.B., Abeles M., Bodenstein M., Fin Y., Gottlieb Y., Julesz B., Marko H., Salzberg B., Schnieder B., Star L. and Vaadia E. Group report - Neurobiology. In: Fu K.S. and Pavlidis T (eds.) Biomedical pattern recognition and image processing. Dahlem Konferenze vol 15:365-391, 1979.

6. Abeles M. Neural codes for higher brain functions. In: H.J. Markowitsch (ed.), Information processing by the brain. Hans Huber, Toronto, pp:225-238 (1988).

7. Abeles M., Prut Y., Bergman H., Vaadia E., and Aertsen A. Integration Synchronicity and Periodicity. In: Aertsen A. and von Seelen W. (eds.) Brain Theory: Spatio-temporal Aspects of Brain Function. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 149-181, (1993).

8. Abeles M., Prut Y., Bergman H., Vaadia E. Synchronization in neuronal transmission and its importance for information processing. In: Buzsaki G. (ed.) Temporal coding in the brain, Springer Verlag, pp 39-50, 1994.

9. Abeles M., Prut Y., Bergman H., Vaadia E. Synchronization in neuronal transmission and its importance for information processing. In: van Pelt J., Corner M.A., Ulings H.B.M., and Lopes da Silva F.H. (eds.)Progress in Brain Research 102: The self-organizing brain: From growth Cones to functional networks. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 395-404, 1994.

10. Abeles M. Analysis of single unit activity in the cerebral cortex. In: Ventriglia F. (ed.) Neural modeling and neural networks. , Pergamon Press, Oxford, pp 41-56, 1994.

11. Abeles M., Firing rates and well-timed events in the cerebral cortex. In: Models of Neural Networks II ,Domany E., van Hemmen J.L., and Schulten K. (eds.), Springer-Verlag, new York, pp 121-140, 1994.

12. Prut Y. and Abeles M. Time structure of cortical activity. In Brugge J.F. and Poon P.W.F. (eds) Central Auditory Processing and Neural Modelling. Plenum Press pp199 210, 1998.

13. Abeles M. Synfire Chains. in: M. Arbib (ed.) Handbook of brain theory and neural networks, 2-nd ed. MIT press, 2003, pp 1143-1146.


1. Abeles M., Magnes J. and Samuelloff S. Effect of changes in alveolar ventilation on the EEG of encephale isole cats. Arch. Ital. Biol. 102:40-55, 1964.

2. Gutman J., Bergmann F., Abeles M. and Chaimovitz M. The influence of spinal transection on central nystagmus. Arch. Internat. Physiol. Bioch. 72:297-300, 1964.

3. Allweis C., Landau T., Abeles M. and Magnes J. The oxidation of uniformly labelled albumin-bound palmitic acid to CO2 by the perfused cat brain. J. Neurochemistry 13:794-804, 1966.

4. Allweis C., Abeles M. and Magnes J. Perfusion of cat brain with simplified blood after filtration through glass wool. Amer. J. Physiol. 213:83-86, 1967.

5. Magnes J. , Allweis C. and Abeles M. The metabolism of the perfused cat brain during EEG synchronization and arousal. J. Neurochemistry 14:859-871, 1967.

6. Abeles M. Excitability of EEG "synchronizing" and "desynchronizing" neurons in the thalamus and the brain-stem of the cat. I. The application of strength-duration determination and conditioning-test technique. EEG Clin. Neurophysiol. 23:16-24, 1967.

7. Abeles M. Excitability of EEG "synchronizing" and "desynchronizing" neurons in the thalamus and the brain-stem of the cat. II. Chronaxies and refractoriness EEG Clin. Neurophysiol. 23:25-34, 1967.

8. Abeles M. Excitability of EEG "synchronizing" and "desynchronizing" neurons in the thalamus and the brain-stem of the cat. III. Patterns of interaction between pulse pairs applied to the diffuse thalamic projection system. EEG Clin. Neurophysiol. 23:35-40, 1967.

9. Abeles M. and Goldstein M. H. Jr. Functional architecture in cat primary auditory cortex: Columnar organization and organization according to depth. J. Neurophysiol. 33:188-197 (1970).

10. Goldstein M.H. Jr., Abeles M., Daly R.L. and McIntosh J. Functional architecture in cat primary auditory cortex: tonotopic organization. J. Neurophysiol. 33:188-197, 1970.

11. Abeles M. and Goldstein M. H. Jr. Responses of single units in the primary auditory cortex of the cat to tones and tone-pairs. Brain Res. 42:337-362, 1972.

12. Goldstein M.H. Jr., Abeles M. Note on tonotopic organization of primary auditory cortex. Brain Res. 100:188-191, 1975.

13. Lass Y. and Abeles M. Transmission of information by the axon. I. Noise and memory in the myelinated nerve fiber of the frog. Biol Cybern.19:61-67,1975.

14. Abeles M. and Lass Y. Transmission of information by the axon. II. The channel capacity. Biol Cybern.19:121-125,1975.

15. Abeles M. and Goldstein M.H.Jr. Multiple spike train analysis. Proc. IEEE BME, 65:762-773, 1977.

16. Vaadia E. and Abeles M. Computer-aided investigation of acquired sensory motor association. Brain Theory Newsletter, 3:148-151, 1978.

17. Abeles M. The role of cortical neuron: Integrator or coincidence detector. Isr. J. Med. Sci. 18:83-92, 1982.

18. Abeles M. Quantification, smoothing and confidence limits for single-unit histograms. J. Neurosci. Meth. 5:317-325, 1982.

19. Vaadia E. Gottlieb Y. and Abeles M. Single unit activity related to sensory motor association in the auditory cortex of monkey. J. Neurophysiol. 48:1201-1213 (1982).

20. Frostig R.D., Gottlieb Y., Vaadia E. and Abeles M. The effects of stimuli on the activity and functional connectivity of local neuronal groups in the cat auditory cortex. Brain Res. 272:211-221, 1983.

21. Abeles M. The quantification and graphic display of correlation among three spike trains. IEEE Trans. BME, 30:235-239, 1983.

22. Abeles M. DeRibaupierre F. and DeRibaupierre Y. Detection of single unit responses which are loosely time-locked to a stimulus. IEEE Syst. Man & Cybern. SMC-13:683-691 (1983).

23. Vaadia E. and Abeles M. Temporal firing patterns of single units, pairs and triplets of units in the auditory cortex. Isr. J. Med. Sci. 23:75-83, 1986.

24. Abeles M. and Gerstein J. Detecting spatiotemporal firing patterns among simultaneously recorded single neurons. J. Neurophysiol 60:909-924 (1988).

25. Gottlieb Y. Vaadia E. and Abeles M. Single unit activity in the auditory cortex of a monkey performing a short term memory task. Exp. Brain Res. 74:139-148 (1989).

26. Vaadia E., Bergman H. and Abeles M. Neuronal Activities Related to higher brain Functions -Theoretical and experimental implications. IEEE - Transactions on BME, 36:25-35, 1989

27. Abeles M, Vaadia E. and Bergman H. Firing patterns of single units in the prefrontal cortex and neural network models. Network 1: 13-25, 1990.

28. Amit D.J., Evans M.R. and Abeles M. Attractor neural networks with biological probe records. Network 1:381-405, 1990

29. Villa A.P. and Abeles M. Evidence for spatiotemporal firing patterns within the auditory thalamus of the cat. Brain Res. 509:325-327, 1990.

30. Aertsen A., Vaadia E., Abeles M., Ahissar E., Bergman H., Karmon B., Lavner Y., Margalit E., Nelken I., and Rotter S. Neural Interactions in the Frontal Cortex of Behaving Monkey: Signs of Dependence on Stimulus Context and Behavioral State. J. Hirnforsch 32:735-743, 1991

31. Ahissar E., Vaddia E., Galun M., Bergman H., Arieli A. and Abeles M. Dependence of cortical Plasticity on correlated activity of single neurons and on behavioral context. Science 257: 1412-1415, 1992

32. Aertsen A., Vaadia E., Abeles M., Ahissar E., Bergman H., Karmon B., Lavener Y., Margalit E., Nelken I., and Rotter S. Dynamics of coherence in cortical neural activity: Experimental observations and functional interpretations. International Journal of Neural Systems 3:105-114, 1992.

33. Abeles M., Bergman H., Margalit E., and Vaddia E. Spatio temporal firing patterns in the frontal cortex of behaving monkeys. J. of Neurophysiology 70: 1629-1638, 1993

34. Abeles M., Vaadia E., Bergman H., Prut Y., Haalman I., and Slovin H. Dynamics of neuronal interactions in the frontal cortex of behaving monkeys. Concepts in Neuroscience 4: 131-158, 1993.

35. Nelken I., Prut Y., Vaadia E, and Abeles M.: In search of the best stimulus: an optimization procedure for finding efficient stimuli in the cat auditory cortex. Hear. Res. 72:237 253, 1994

36. Nelken, I., Prut, Y., Vaadia, E. and Abeles M.: Population responses to multifrequency sounds in the cat auditory cortex: one and two parameter families of sounds. Hear. Res. 72:206 222, 1994

37. Nelken, I., Prut, Y., Vaadia, E. and Abeles M.: Population responses to multifrequency sounds in the cat auditory cortex: four tone complexes. Hear. Res. 72:223 236, 1994

38. Vaadia E., Haalman I., Abeles M., Bergman H., Prut Y., Slovin H., and Aertsen A. Dynamics of Neuronal Interactions in the Monkey Cortex in Relation to Behavioral Events. Nature, 373:515-518, 1995

39. Abeles M., Bergman H., Gat I., Meilijson I., Seidmann E., Tishby N. and Vaadia E. Cortical activity flips among quasi stationary states. PNAS, 92:8616-8620, 1995.

40. Seidman E., Meilijson I., Abeles M., Bergman H., and Vaadia E. Simultaneously recorded single units in the frontal cortex go through sequences of discrete and stable states in monkeys performing a delayed localization task. J. Neurosci. 16:752-768, 1996.

41. Gat I., Tishby N., and Abeles M. Hidden Markov modeling of simultaneously recorded cells in the associative cortex of behaving monkeys. Network: Comput. Neural Syst. 8:297-322, 1997.

42. Bergman H., Feingold A., Nini A., Raz A., Abeles M., and Vaadia E. Physiological aspects of information processing in the basal ganglia of normal and parkinsonian primates. TINS 21:32-38, 1998.

43. Prut Y., Vaadia E., Bergman H., Haalman I., Slovin H., and Abeles M. Spatio-temporal structure of cortical activity, properties and behavioral relevance. J. Neurophysiol. 79: 2857-2874, 1998.

44. Margalit E., Abeles M., and Bergman H. Sensory-motor transformation and motor planning in the primate frontal cortex. J. Basic Clin. Physiol. Pharmacol. 10: 79-103, 1999.

45. Raz A., Frechter-Mazar V., Feingold A., Abeles M., Vaadia E. and Bergman H. Activity of pallidal and striatal tonically active neurons is correlated in MPTP treated monkeys but not in normal monkeys. J. Neurosci. (in press, 2000).

46.Gat I., Raz A., Abeles M., Tishby N. and Bergman H. The neural signature of reward expectation signal in the striatum of normal and Parkinsonian primates, Biological Cyberntics, conditionally accepted

47. Abeles M. and Gat I. Detecting precise firing sequences in experimental data. J. Neurosci. Methods. 2001, 107:141-154.

48. Ben-Shaul Y.,Bergman H.,Ritov Y. and Abeles M. Trial to trial variability in either stimulus or action causes apparent correlation and synchrony in neuronal activity. J. Neurosci. Methods. 2001 111:99-110.

49. Aviel Y., Pavlov E., Abeles M., and Horn D. Synfire chain in a balanced network. Neurocomp. 2002 44:285-292

50. Ben-Shaul Y., Stark E., Asher I., Drori R., Nadasdy Z., and Abeles M. Dynamical organization of directional tuning in the primate premotor and primary motor cortex. J. Neurosci. J. Neurophysiol. 2003, 89:1136-1142.

51. Aviel Y. Mehring C., Abeles M., and Horn D. On embedding synfire chains in a balanced network. Neural Comp. 2003, 15:1321-1340.

52. Litvak V., Sompolinsky H., Segev I., and Abeles M. On the transmission of rate code in long feed-forward networks with Excitatory-Inhibitory balance. J. Neurosci. 2003, 23:3006-3015

53. Ben-Shaul Y., Drori R., Asher I., Stark E., Nadasdy Z., and Abeles M. Neuronal activity in motor cortical areas reflect the sequential context of movement. J. Neurophys., 2004, 91:1748-1762.

54. Aviel Y, Horn D and Abeles M. Doubly balanced networks of spiking neurons: A memory model with high capacity. NIPS03

55. Aviel Y, Horn D and Abeles M. Memory Capacity of Balanced networks, Neural Comp., 2004, in press

56. Hayon G., Abeles M., Lehmann D. Modeling compositionality by dynamic binding of synfire chains. J. Comp. Neurosci. 17:179-201, 2004

57. Hayon G., Abeles M., Lehmann D. A model for representing the dynamics of a system of synfire chains. J. Comp. Neurosci. 18: 41-53, 2005.

58. Stark E., Abeles M. Applying resampling methods to neurophysiological data. J. Neurosci. Methods, 2005, in Press

Last Updated Date : 25/06/2022