Michal Assaf

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Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are characterized by deficits in social and communication processes. Recent data suggest that altered functional connectivity (FC), i.e. synchronous brain activity, might contribute to these deficits. Of specific interest is the FC integrity of the default mode network (DMN), a network active during passive resting states(More)
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) represent a formidable challenge for psychiatry and neuroscience because of their high prevalence, lifelong nature, complexity and substantial heterogeneity. Facing these obstacles requires large-scale multidisciplinary efforts. Although the field of genetics has pioneered data sharing for these reasons, neuroimaging had not(More)
Studies demonstrating selective brain networks subserving motivation and mentalization (i.e. attributing states of mind to others) during social interactions have not investigated their mutual independence. We report the results of two fMRI studies using a competitive game requiring players to use implicit ‘on-line’ mentalization simultaneously with(More)
The recall of an object from features is a specific operation in semantic memory in which the thalamus and pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) are integrally involved. Other higher-order semantic cortices are also likely to be involved. We used the object-recall-from-features paradigm, with more sensitive scanning techniques and larger sample size, to(More)
BACKGROUND Schizophrenia is a complex genetic disorder, with multiple putative risk genes and many reports of reduced cortical gray matter. Identifying the genetic loci contributing to these structural alterations in schizophrenia (and likely also to normal structural gray matter patterns) could aid understanding of schizophrenia's pathophysiology. We used(More)
We present a modular, high performance, open-source database system that incorporates popular neuroimaging database features with novel peer-to-peer sharing, and a simple installation. An increasing number of imaging centers have created a massive amount of neuroimaging data since fMRI became popular more than 20 years ago, with much of that data unshared.(More)
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are characterized by core deficits in social functions. Two theories have been suggested to explain these deficits: mind-blindness theory posits impaired mentalizing processes (i.e. decreased ability for establishing a representation of others' state of mind), while social motivation theory proposes that diminished reward(More)
Trauma-related psychopathology has been associated with an intense emotional reaction to stressful event. Emotional responses have evolved to signal the presence of risks to be avoided or of rewards to be approached in the environment. Thus, individuals' sensitivity to signals of risk and reward may affect the level of stress vulnerability. Stress, however,(More)
Cocaine addiction is characterized by impulsivity, impaired social relationships, and abnormal mesocorticolimbic reward processing, but their interrelationships relative to stages of cocaine addiction are unclear. We assessed blood-oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) signal in ventral and dorsal striatum during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in(More)
BACKGROUND The neural basis of formal thought disorder (FTD) is unknown. An influential theory is that FTD results from impaired semantic memory processing. We explored the neural correlates of semantic memory retrieval in schizophrenia using an imaging task assessing semantic object recall. METHOD Sixteen healthy control subjects and sixteen(More)