Contact Us | Directions / Map | About
The People of the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center

The People of the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center

Michal Assaf, M.D.
Director, Autism & Functional Mapping (AM-FM) Laboratory
Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center, Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital

Assistant Professor (Adjunct)

Department of Psychiatry

Yale University School of Medicine

Visiting Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
Trinity College

200 Retreat Avenue
Whitehall Building - Institute of Living
Hartford CT 06106
Phone: 860-545-7792

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. PMID: 16199012

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: PMC2804999

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. NIHMS98424

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, Rua�o G, Assaf M and Pearlson G. (2010) Genetic associations of brain structural networks in schizophrenia: a preliminary study. Biological Psychiatry, 68(7):657-66. PMID: 20691427

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, in-press.

Book Chapter

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.


Copyright � 2006 Hartford Hospital and Hartford Healthcare Website Privacy Promise & Terms of Use Website Feedback