ZiF Research Group
Cognitive Behavior of Humans, Animals, and Machines:
Situation Model Perspectives
October 2019 – July 2020
Convenors: Werner Schneider (Bielefeld, GER), Helge Ritter (Bielefeld, GER)
Professor Bar is The Director of the Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center at Bar-Ilan University and the head of the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. He is an internationally recognized cognitive neuroscientist, whose novel research has made revolutionary contributions to our understanding of perception, cognition and issues in psychiatry. Before moving to Israel to head the Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center at Bar-Ilan University, Professor Bar was an Associate Professor in Neuroscience, Psychiatry and Radiology at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital. Prof. Bar and his team discovered that the human brain is engaged in thinking about the future surprisingly frequently, and in doing so it relies heavily on memory. He examines how mental simulations influence foresight and facilitate our daily interaction with the environment. During his career, Prof. Bar has mentored over 50 students, and published over 70 publications, as well as authored several book chapters and edited two books.
Current Main Research Interests
Prof. Bar and his team discovered that the human brain is engaged in thinking about the future surprisingly frequently, and in doing so it relies heavily on memory. He examines how mental simulations (such as planning and mind-wandering) influence foresight and facilitate our daily interaction with the environment. Along with exploring how the brain extracts and uses contextual information to generate predictions and guide cognition efficiently, his work focuses on questions spanning the flow of information in the cortex during visual recognition and conscious perception, contextual associative processing of scene information, the cortical mechanisms mediating the formation of first impressions, and the visual elements that determine human preference. Prof. Bar uses neuroimaging (fMRI, MEG, EEG), psychophysical and computational methods in his research.
Five selected publications with particular relevance to the Research Group
- Axelrod, V., Rees, G., Bar, M. (2017). The default network and the combination of cognitive processes that mediate self-generated thought. Nature Human Behavior, 1, 896-910.
- O'Callaghan, C., Kveraga, K., Shine, J. M., Adams Jr, R. B., & Bar, M. (2017). Predictions penetrate perception: Converging insights from brain, behaviour and disorder. Consciousness and Cognition, 47, 63-74.
- Baror, S., & Bar, M. (2016). Associative activation and its relation to exploration and exploitation in the brain. Psychological science, 27, 776-789.
- Bar, M. (2009). A cognitive neuroscience hypothesis of mood and depression. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13, 456-463.
- Bar, M. (2009). The proactive brain: memory for predictions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364, 1235-1243.