Michal Assaf, M.D.
Director, Autism &
Functional Mapping (AM-FM) Laboratory
Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center,
Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital
Department of Psychiatry
Yale University School of Medicine
Visiting Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
200 Retreat Avenue
Whitehall Building - Institute of Living
Hartford CT 06106
Who Am I?
Dr. Michal Assaf has studied mental illnesses by
implementing cognitive neuroscience and advanced neuroimaging methods such as
fMRI and DTI. Her research encompasses a variety of brain disorders, including
autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer's disease, anxiety disorder,
as well as substance abuse and addiction. In addition to her research
activities, Dr. Assaf leads the Presurgical Functional Mapping program at
Hartford Hospital in collaboration with the Department of Neurosurgery, and
directs the implementation of structural and functional navigation for the
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) research program.
After earning her M.D. at Tel Aviv University, Dr. Assaf completed a
postdoctoral fellowship at the Division of Psychiatric Neuroimaging of the Johns
Hopkins University School of Medicine and Yale University. In 2004, she joined
the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center at the Institute of Living. Dr. Assaf
has been collaborating with researchers at Yale’s Psychiatry Department,
Comparative Medicine Department and Child Study Center, as well as the
University of Connecticut Department of Psychology, the Wohl Institute for
Advanced Imaging in Israel, and the Mind Research Network. Dr. Assaf is a member
of the Society for Neuroscience, the International Society for Autism Research
and the Organization of Human Brain Mapping.
Assaf M, Rivkin P, Kuzu C,
Calhoun V, Kraut M, Groth K, Yassa M, Hart J and Pearlson GD (2006).
Abnormal Object-Recall and Anterior Cingulate Overactivation Correlate with
Formal Thought Disorder in Schizophrenia. Biol Psychiatry, 59(5): 452-9.
Assaf M, Calhoun V, Kuzu C,
Kraut M, Rivkin P, Hart J and Pearlson GD (2006). Neural Correlates of the
Object Recall Process in Semantic Memory. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging,
147 (2-3): 115-126. PMID: 16938439
Assaf M, Kahn I, Pearlson GD,
Johnson MR, Yeshurun Y, Calhoun V and Hendler T (2009). Brain Activity
Dissociates Mentalization from Motivation during an Interpersonal
Competitive Game. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 3 (1): 24-37. PMCID:
Assaf M, Jagannathan K,
Calhoun V, Kraut M, Hart J and Pearlson G. (2009) Temporal Sequence of
Hemispheric Network Activation during Semantic Processing: A Functional
Network Connectivity Analysis. Brain and Cognition, 70 (2): 238-246.
Assaf M, Jagannathan K,
Calhoun V, Miller L, Stevens MC, Sahl R, O'Boyle JG, Schultz RT and Pearlson
G. (2010) Abnormal Functional Connectivity of Default Mode Sub-Networks in
Autism Spectrum Disorder Patients. NeuroImage, 53: 247-256. PMID: 20621638.
Jagannathan K, Calhoun V, Gelernter
J, Stevens MC, Liu J, Bolognani F, Windemuth A, Ruaño G, Assaf M and
Pearlson G. (2010) Genetic associations of brain structural networks in
schizophrenia: a preliminary study. Biological Psychiatry, 68(7):657-66.
Parker BA, Thompson PD, Jordan KC,
Grimaldi AS, Assaf M, Jagannathan K and Pearlson GD (2011). Effect of
Exercise Training on Hippocampal Volume in Humans: A Pilot Study. Research
Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 82(3):585-91. PMID: 21957719.
Admon R, Lubin G, Rosenblatt JD,
Stern O, Kahn I, Assaf M, and Hendler T (2012). Imbalanced Neural
Responsivity to Risk and Reward Indicates Stress Vulnerability in Humans.
Cerebral Cortex, in-press.
Hyatt CJ, Assaf M, Musk CE,
Rosen RI, Thomas AD, Johnson MR, Hylton JL, Andrews MM, Reynolds BA, Krystal
JH, Potenza MN and Pearlson GD. (2012) Reward-related dorsal striatal
activity differences between former and current cocaine dependent
individuals during an interactive competitive game. PLoS ONE, in-press.
Jamadar S, O’Neil KM, Pearlson GD,
Ansari M, Gill A, Jagannathan K and Assaf M. (2012) Impairment in
Semantic Retrieval is Associated with Symptoms in Schizophrenia but not
Bipolar Disorder. Biological Psychiatry, in-press.
Jamadar S, Assaf M,
Jagannathan K, Anderson K and Pearlson GD. (2012) Figural memory performance
and fMRI activity across the adult life span. Neurobiology of Aging,
Assaf M, Rivkin P, Kraut M, Calhoun V, Hart J and Pearlson G (2007).
Schizophrenia and Semantic Memory.
In Hart J and Kraut M. Neural Basis of Semantic Memory. Cambridge University
Press, Cambridge, UK.