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Asaf Gilboa
  Dr. Asaf Gilboa
   
  Ph.D. Psychology, University of Toronto
  M.A. Clinical Neuropsychology, Hebrew University
  B.A. Psychology, Hebrew University
   
  Research Interests: autobiographical memory
  Postdoctoral Fellow - Rotman Research Institut - until 2005
  contact at:
  agilboa@psy.haifa.ac.il
   
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PERSONAL PROFILE
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I was born and raised in Israel, in a small coastal community north of Tel-Aviv. I began my undergraduate studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, majoring in Psychology and participating in the Amirim inter-disciplinary program for excellent students. I then went on to complete a Master's in Clinical Neuropsychology and worked in a rehabilitation centre in Tel-Aviv with patients who sustained Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). I arrived in Toronto in 2000 together with my wife Merav and daughter Ori, and we now have a second child named Noam.
   
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RESEARCH INTERESTS
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Autobiographical memory in healthy individuals and neuropsychological patients.
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My Ph.D. work focuses on remote and recent autobiographical memory in healthy individuals and in epilepsy patients who have had medial temporal lobe excisions. In particular I am interested in the involvement of the hippocampus in retrieval of recent vs. very remote memories. The work is motivated by a heated debate between theories that predict involvement of the hippocampus for as long as a memory exists and those that predict only time-limited involvement, until some consolidation process occurs. To this end, I have developed a systematic method of using family photos to probe memory, and concurrently implemented an extensive semi-structured autobiographical interview to tease apart different aspects of memory (e.g. episodic re-experiencing and semantic self knowledge). The main finding so far from this study is that in healthy individuals the hippocampus participates in retrieval of both very remote and recent memories, but that its involvement is dependent of the amount of episodic detail retrieved. We also found that remote memories are associated with a more distributed activation along the long axis of the hippocampus which might be related to the observation that such memories tend to be more resistant to the effects of partial lesion.
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Confabulation and memory retrieval mechanism
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This research project focuses on confabulation, a syndrome that is associated with several neurological disorders affecting the lower medial aspect of the prefrontal cortex. Confabulation may be defined as 'honest lying' because patients provide information that is patently false without intending to lie. One of the intriguing characteristics of confabulating patients is their firm conviction of the truthfulness of their memory even when they can appreciate that it makes no logical sense. My primary hypothesis is that confabulation is related to a deficit in a pre-conscious monitoring system that mediates a phenomenological 'feeling of rightness' that is very resistant to post-retrieval reasoning. I hope to demonstrate that this intuitive 'feeling of rightness' is associated with very early brain activity and is mediated by a set of somatic markers that help us assess truthfulness. That is, healthy people get clues not only from their brains but also from their body about the veracity of their memories which confabulators lack. This work was partly inspired by my experience with confabulating patients who I tested on autobiographical recognition, with results showing a surprising willingness to accept highly improbable foils. I am also collaborating with Shayna Rosenbaum and Robyn Westmacott on a project that tests autobiographical recognition in an amnesic patient (KC) with extensive medial temporal lobe damage. KC is very good at rejecting false details, but is very poor at recognizing true ones. This pattern of results is related, I believe, to confabulators’ lack of intuitive ‘feeling of rightness’ as opposed to amnesics’ ability to judge a sentence as wrong even when no explicit knowledge of the true event exists.
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Working with other patient populations
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My research experience with patients includes both behavioural and neuroimaging assessments of neurological (e.g. Traumatic Brain Injury; TBI) and psychiatric (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder; PTSD) patients. With TBI patients, I was part of a research team that conducted a large-scale follow-up study that focused on prediction of premorbid abilities, assessment of current neuropsychological, psychiatric and ADL functioning and prediction of outcome. In addition, we studied self-awareness of cognitive deficits in TBI. I was also involved in studies of PET, structural MRI and neuropsychological functioning with PTSD. Recently I have analyzed PET data using multi-variate statistical techniques (partial least squares and structural equation modeling) to explore the way the amygdala and prefrontal cortex in PTSD interact to form different functional networks under different testing conditions.
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JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS
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Published Journal Articles
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Bonne, O., Gilboa, A., Louzon, Y., Kempf-Sherf, O., Katz, M., Fishman, Y., Ben-Nahum, Z., Krausz, Y., Bocher, M., Lester, H., Chisin, R., & Lerer, B. (In Press). Cerebral blood flow in chronic symptomatic Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging.
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Bonne, O., Gilboa, A., Louzoun, Y., Brandes, D., Yona, I., Lester, H., Barkai, G., Freedman, N., Chisin, R., & Shalev, A.Y. (In Press). Cerebral perfusion in recent PTSD. Biological Psychiaty.
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Gilboa, A., Shalev, A.Y., Laor, L., Lester, H., Louzoun, Y., Chisin, R., & Bonne, O. (In Press). Functional connectivity of the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Biological Psychiatry.
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Hoofien, D., Gilboa, A., Vakil, E. & Barak, O. (In Press). Unawareness of cognitive deficits and daily functioning among persons with Traumatic Brain Injuries. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology.
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Gilboa, A., Ramirez, J., Kohler, S., Westmacott, R., Black, S.E. & Moscovitch, M. (2005). Retrieval of autobiographical memory in Alzheimer's disease: relation to volumes of medial temporal lobe and other structures. Hippocampus, 15, 535-550.
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Moscovitch, M., Rosenbaum, R.S., Gilboa, A., Addis, D.R., Westmacott, R., Grady, C., McAndrews, M.P., Levine, B., Black, S., Winocur, G. & Nadel, L. (2005). Functional neuroanatomy of remote episodic, semantic and spatial memory: A unified account based on multiple trace theory. Journal of Anatomy, 207, 35-66.
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Gilboa, A. (2004). Autobiographical and episodic memory - one and the same? Neuropsychologia, 42 (10), 1336-1349.
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Gilboa, A., Winocur, G., Grady, C.L., Hevenor, S.J., & Moscovitch, M. (2004). Remembering our past: Functional neuroanatomy of recollection of recent and very remote personal events. Cerebral Cortex, 14, 1214-1225.
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Brandes, D., Ben-Shachar, G., Gilboa, A., Bonne, O., Freedman, S., & Shalev, A.Y. (2002). PTSD symptoms and cognitive performance in recent trauma survivors. Psychiatry Research, 110, 231-238.
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Hoofien, D., Vakil, E., Gilboa, A., Donovik, P.J. & Barak, O. (2002). Comparison of the predictive power of socio-economic variables, severity of injury, and age on long-term outcome of TBI: Sample-specific variable versus factors as predictors. Brain Injury, 16(1), 9-27.
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Bonne, O., Brandes, D., Gilboa, A., Gomori, M.J., Shenton, M.E., Pitman, R.K., & Shalev, A.Y. (2001). Longitudinal MRI study of hippocampal volume in trauma survivors with PTSD. American Journal of Psychiatry, 158(8),, 1248-51.
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Hoofien, D., Gilboa, A., Donovick, P.J. & Vakil, E. (2001). Long-term sequelae of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): A comprehensive follow-up study of psychiatric symptomatology, cognitive abilities and psychosocial oucome. Brain Injury, 15(3), 189-209.
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Hoofien, D., Vakil, E. & Gilboa, A. (2000). Criterion validation of premorbid intelligence estimation in persons with Traumatic Brain Injury: "Hold/Don't Hold" versus "Best Performance" procedures. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 22(3), 305-315.
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BOOK CHAPTERS
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Gilboa, A. & Moscovitch, M. (2002). The cognitive neuroscience of confabulation: A review and a model. In: A.D. Baddeley M.D. Kopelman, and B.A. Wilson (Eds.) Handbook of Memory Disorders, 2nd Edition. London: Wiley. Pp. 315-342.
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Moscovitch, M., Westmacott, R., Gilboa, A., Addis, D.R., Rosenbaum, R.S., Viskontas, I., Priselac, S., Svoboda, E., Ziegler, M., Black, S., Gao, F., Grady, C.L., Freedman, M., Köhler, S., Leach, L., Levine, B., McAndrews, M.P., Nadel, L., Proulx, G., Richards, B., Ryan, L., Stokes, K., & Winocur, G. (in press). Hippocampal complex contribution to retention and retrieval of recent and remote episodic and semantic memories: Evidence from behavioural and neuroimaging studies of healthy and brain-damaged people.
 
Nadel, L., Ryan, L., Hayes, S.M., Gilboa, A. & Moscovitch, M. (In press). The role of the hipppocampal complex in long-term episodic memory. In: T. Ono, G. Matsumoto, R.R. Lllinas, A. Berthoz, R. Norgren, H. Nishijo & R. Tamura (Eds), Limbic and Association Cortical Systems - Basic, Clinical and Computational Aspects. Amsterdam, Elsevier Science: Excerpta Medica International Congress Series.
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ABSTRACTS
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Gilboa, A., Rosenbaum, R.S., Westmacott, R., Grady, C.L., Winocur, G., & Moscovitch, M. (2003). I know the forest, but don't remember the trees - behavioural and neuroimaging studies of remote memory for autobiographical details in amnesia. Paper presented at the Brenda Milner Symposium, Montreal.
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Gilboa, A., Winocur, G., Grady, C.L., Hevenor, S.J. & Moscovitch, M. (2003). Remembering our past: Functional neuroanatomy of recollection of recent and very remote personal events. Paper presented at the Brenda Milner Symposium, Montreal.
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Gilboa, A., Winocur, G., Grady, C.L. Hevenor, S.J. & Moscovitch, M. (2002). A functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) study of remote and recent autobiographical memory using family photographs. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (Supplement), B75.
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Gilboa, A., Winocur, G., Grady, C.L. & Moscovitch, M. (2002). The effects of memory quality on the neural correlates of autobiographical memory. Paper presented at the Southern Ontario Neuropsychology Conference, York University, Toronto, Ontario.
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Hoofien, D., Gilboa, A., Vakil, E. & Barak, O.(2002) Depression after TBI: Affective content or cognitive/somatic symptoms? Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 7(4), 414.
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Bonne, O., Gilboa, A., Louzon, Y., Laor, L., Bocher, M. Chishin, R. & Shalev, A.Y. (2000) Temporal dynamics of brain activation during mental imagery of traumatic events: A symptom provocation study. American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) 39th annual meeting.
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Hoofien, D., Gilboa, A. & Vakil, E. (2000) Self awareness as the difference between subjective and objective evaluations and its relations to psychiatric symptomatology and daily functioning among persons with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). International Conference on Psychology, University of Haifa, Israel.
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Hoofien, D., Vakil, E. & Gilboa, A. (1999). Criterion validation of premorbid intelligence estimation in persons with Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 5(2), 109.
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