Prof. Opher Donchin

Prof. Opher Donchin Profile

M.Sc committee - chairman

Department : Department of Biomedical Engineering
Room : 124
63 - בנין המחלקה להנדסת גרעין ע"ש שרמן
Phone : 972-8-6479664
Email :
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  • June 1983-June 1985
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology September 1985 – June 1988
  • B.S. (Mathematics)
  • Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel October 1989 – July 1990
  • Graduate study (Mathematics)
  • Hebrew University of Jerusalem October 1992 – October 1999
  • Ph.D. (Computational Neuroscience). Thesis: Are bimanual movements two independent processes or one global event: a physiological study . Advisor: Professor Eilon Vaadia
  • Johns Hopkins University October 1999 – September 2004
  • Postdoctoral training. Advisor: Professor Reza Shadmehr.

Research Interests

  • Motor control, motor learning, physiology, cerebellum, motor cortex, psychophysics and behavior

Research Projects

  • We have a number of ongoing research projects in the laboratory:
    1. Pausing in cerebellar neurons: there is controversy over whether cerebellum neurons exhibit periods of long pauses in their activity and whether this has any functional relevance. We are exploring this question in by recording in awake behaving animals and correlating these pauses with the activity of the animals.
    2. Activity of the cerebellum during reaching movements. How does the cerebellum code for error in reaching movements and how does it correct mistakes that result from predictable perturbations of the movement?
    3. Do we learn by watching and how? What is the mechanism that allows observation of another person practicing to improve our own performance?
    4. Models of reaching movements. Can we build a model that explains the path that our hand takes during a reaching movement and the way that path changes over the course of training? Can we build a model that explains the role of the cerebellum in correcting our movements from trial to trial and from day to day?

Research Abstract

  • My laboratory will focus on physiological and behavioral aspects of motor control and motor learning. The main focus of my research will be the study of adaptation to perturbing forces during reaching movements. This simple task will serve as a vehicle for studying the physiology of the cerebellum, the relationship of long term and short term motor learning, the role of conscious awareness in motor control, and other topics.

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