Identifying the neurobehavioral domains that underlie psychopathology

Originally our lab focused on investigating the effects of major pathological mental states on the processing of emotional processings, such as visual sensitivity to emotional content in and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, perceptual biases to bizarre faces in schizophrenia and avoidance of risky choices in OCD (Hendler et al 2003) (Bleich…Hendler, 2009) (Admon, Bleich… Hendler 2012) (see pic 1).

Alluding to the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) of the NIMH, more recently our work in this area has shifted recently towards the decoding of functional domain related activity and connectivity in psychiatric disorders (Salomon and Bleich... Hendler and Malach, 2013), (Bleich... Hendler 2015) In addition, we are interested in as well as identifying network dynamics that could be related to abnormal functions in psychiatric patients (see perspectives; Hendler et al 2009), (Hendler et al 2014)

We proposed two pertinent models of mental disorders, one driven by imbalanced motivation processing as related to combined abnormalities in incentive behavior and/or hedonic responsivity; such as in depression, bipolar disorder, personality disorders and addiction (Gonen... Hendler 2014) (see pic 2, 3).  The other relates to high vigilance, disturbed emotional reactivity (high to threats and low to reward), and contextual dysregulation contributing to poor behavioral-control; such as in post trauma disorder (Admon Milad and Hendler, 2013) (see pic 4), social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and psychosomatic disorders (chronic fatigue, and chronic pain). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These models continue to guided our current work on brain computer interfaces and NeuroFeedback, both aimed to establish brain-guided therapeutics inspired by the scientific insights of abnormal domain function (see pic 5). 

 

NeuroFeedback is a brain-based training of afor mental processes, that is guided by (explicit or implicit) reinforced neural modulations. Our research thus far has led to the implementation of NeuroFeedback as a therapeutic intervention for patients with chronic pain, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and PTSD, targeting the down regulation of the amygdala, with the anticipation of improved emotion-regulation and/or reactivity (Keinan... Hendler, 2016) (see pic 6).

In addition to testing the NF procedure for clinical efficacy, we have also been lately investigating the contribution of specific parameters to the success of the training, from both a; those related to the  procedurale (interface type, number of session, calculation of target modulation etc, (Cohen, Keinan …Hendler and Raz, 2017), and as well as those related to the trainee's strategy perspective (in submission).

1. Admon, Bleich… Hendler 2012

1. Admon, Bleich… Hendler 2012

Functional connectivity and OCD symptom severity. a) Sagittal view of inter-regional functional connectivity contrast maps in overlay showing that compared to healthy controls OCD patients had weaker functional connectivity of the amygdala to the dACC (blue) and weaker functional connectivity of the Nacc to the OFC (orange). b) Scatter plots show that in OCD more functional connectivity was related to fewer symptoms, both for the amygdala-ACC (upper) and Nacc-OFC functional connectivity (lower).

2. Gonen... Hendler, 2014

2. Gonen... Hendler, 2014

Proposed neuroanatomy of the RST motivational systems.

3. Gonen... Hendler, 2014

3. Gonen... Hendler, 2014

Conceptual illustration of the suggested model for the involvement of motivational systems in mood disorders.

4. Admon Milad and Hendler, 2013

4. Admon Milad and Hendler, 2013

Neural abnormalities in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Results of functional studies discussed in this review overlaid on a schematic model of common hyper- and hypoactivations in PTSD.

5. Cohen, Keynan …Hendler and Raz, 2

5. Cohen, Keynan …Hendler and Raz, 2

NF training procedure and conditions.

5. Keynan... Hendler, 2016

5. Keynan... Hendler, 2016

Coronal, axial, and sagittal views of blood oxygen level-dependent activity interaction map...

6. Keynan... Hendler, 2016

6. Keynan... Hendler, 2016

Experiment 3 reaction times (RT) (ms) in the emotional conflict task with relation to NF training.

Talma Hendler (MD PhD) is a professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University, and the founding director of the Sagol Brain Institute Tel-Aviv. Professor Hendler holds an MD from Tel Aviv University and a PhD from SUNY at Stony Brook, NY. and is a licensed psychiatrist in Israel. 

Prof. Hendler leads the #Neuropsychiatry & Neuromodulation research team and an associated investigator of all the other 6 research teams at the Sagol Brain Institute.

PROF. TALMA HENDLER (MD, PhD)