Critical Periods in Brain Development


The Israeli Neuropsychoanalysis Society

 Is honored to open its large group meeting on the subject:

Critical Periods in Brain Development: Historical and Personal long -term achievement: Research and Clinical Approaches

Lecturer: Prof. Shaul Harel

Discussant: Prof. Cristina Alberini

Facilitator: Irith Barzel-Raveh

26 of July

7:00 pm Israel time (4:00 pm GMT) via Zoom

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In this meeting we will hear Prof Harel lecture, and Prof. Cristina Alberini discussing the lecture while  offering different perspectives on the topic of brain development. Prof. Harel will share his most important conclusions from a lifelong career as a leading child neurologist, and Prof. Alberini will share findings from her research on genetic factors in the development of memory formation.

Prof. Shaul Harel, formerly Charlie Hilsberg, lost his shadow at the age of 5, when he was torn from his family. He escaped the Auschwitz crematories thanks to the Jewish and Belgian undergrounds. His research work came out from that inferno.His story is one of resilience after trauma, the story of a man who grew up in hiding and in various orphanages in Belgium, his life in Israel, his injury during the military service, his medical training, and his career as a leading children neurologist in Israel and abroad. That awful Trauma, with his enormous capabilities and never-ending efforts made him one of the best neurologists in the world. He turned his investigation to the kids who have growth retardation, to academic research and to clinical work. 

He is going to speak about his most important conclusions from his career.

“I wanted to work with an optimistic approach, far away from death. I learned how important it is for children to be able to smile, laugh, and do creative and artistic work,” Harel said. Accordingly, he always keeps a selection of creative toys in his bag and insists on examining children by playing with them — even if it means getting down on the floor with them. He says “For three years during the war we couldn’t play outside or laugh. We were children of silence. We couldn’t even cry with tears, because all around there were Germans and collaborators looking for Jewish children,” Harel said. 

Prof. Cristina Alberini is the Co-President of the International Neuropsychoanalytic society. She is a researcher and a psychoanalyst. Her research work includes looking for gene functions in different areas of the brain, which are recruited in long term memory formation. She is looking for the biological mechanisms and neural circuits for memory formation during development.

In her talk Prof Alberini will share the story of her research: "Memory formation in development seems to follow distinct rules. For example, in some phases memories are quickly lost (e.g. infantile amnesia). Asking these questions helps us to identify the molecular pathways and target molecules involved in memory which could be important for translational applications aimed at either disrupting pathogenic memories (e.g. those associated with PTSD or addiction) or enhancing memory retention and preventing memory loss."

Bios:

Prof. Shaul Harel, M.D. He was born: August 9, 1937, in Brussels, Belgium. He is a specialist in Pediatric Neurology and Adult Neurology, Israel.Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with special qualification in Child Neurology

Former Director, Institute for Child Development and Pediatric Neurology, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. Professor of Pediatrics, the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University. Editorial Boards of Pediatric Neurology, European Journal of Pediatric Neurology, and Journal of Child Neurology. Past Chairman, Israel Pediatric Neurology Society. Past Chairman, Ministry of Health Advisory Committee in Child Development and Neurology. Past President, International Child Neurology Association (ICNA).Past Board Member, European Pediatric Neurology Society (EPNS). Editor of 7 books. Over 170 publications in International Journals. Main areas of clinical and research interest:

Intrauterine growth retardation and brain Development*Neurodevelopment and developmental disabilities. January 2001 – Received Ministry of Health Award for Excellence and Contribution to Medicine. November 2010 – Israeli Society for Child Development Award for a Lifetime Achievement and for Contribution towards Promoting Child Development in Israel. September 2011 – Award for excellence for work in Child Neurology and initiation of meetings of child neurologists from the Mediterranean Area, Piran Slovenia. October 2011 – Child Neurology Society (CNS) Arnold P. Gold Award for Humanism in Medicine. May 2016 – Honorary distinction of “Officer of the Order of Leopold” presented by Mr. Didier Reynders, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs at the official residence of Count John Cornet D'elsius, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium in Israel. October 2018 – Israel Society of Pediatric Neurology and Development (ISPN) Award for Lifetime Achievement and for Contribution towards Promoting Pediatric Neurology in Israel.

Prof. Cristina Alberini received her PhD in Immunological Sciences from the University of Genoa (Italy), and then trained in neurobiology as a post-doctoral fellow at Columbia University. From 1997-2000 she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Brown University and then Associate and Full Professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York from 2001 to 2011. In 2011 she joined the Center for Neural Science at New York University where she is currently a Professor in Neuroscience She trained as a psychoanalyst at NPAP and became licensed in the state of NY in 2012. Prof. Alberini’s research focuses on understanding the molecular and brain plasticity mechanisms underlying long-term memory formation and retrieval. Her studies target different ages of the lifespan. The results of her studies provide information for developing potential therapeutics against cognitive impairments and psychopathologies. Prof. Alberini received the Hirschl-Weill Career Scientist Award, NARSAD Independent Investigator Award, Golgi Medal, Athena Award, MERIT Award and the 2018 Jacob K. Javits NYU Award.

Ms. Irith Barzel-Raveh is a clinical psychologist and supervisor in psychotherapy. She studied with Prof. Heinz Prechtel "General Movement of fetuses, preterm and young babies", And with David Guttman Leadership in the International Forum of Social Innovations in Paris. She was the head clinical psychologist of the Neuropediatric Infant development unit of Tel Aviv area, and 26 Interdisciplinary well baby clinics. She was the coordinator in Sackler school of medicine of a course in "Normalcy in Infancy", and taught with Psychotherapists from the Tavistock Clinic "Infant observation" in various institutions to transdisciplinary professionals, around the country. She has been the initiator and coordinator of an international course named: "Ferenczi in the clinic" which was carried out in 7 cities around the world within the international Sandor Ferenczi Network.

In the last 20 years She is the founder and Chairwoman of The Neuropsychoanalysis Society of Israel and Founder member and Board member of The International Neuropsychoanalysis Society. She works in her private clinic.

Irith Barzel-Raveh is a doctorate student in Bar-Ilan University in "Hermeneutic and Psychoanalysis" interdisciplinary unit, under the supervision of Prof. Mark Solms and Dr. Aner Govrin.

Scientific Committee of the Israeli Society of Neuropsychoanalysis:

Iftah Biran, Yom tov Noga, Tali Lavi, Tali Marron, Gilat Kaplan, Kobi tiberg, Einya Cohen, Ynon Weisman, Anat Yariv & Irith Barzel-Raveh

Relevant Papers:

Travaglia A., Steinmetz A.B., Miranda J.M., Alberini C.M. (2018). Mechanisms of critical period in the hippocampus underlie object location learning and memory in infant rats. Learn Mem. 25, 176-182. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29545389

Bessières B.*, Travaglia A.*, Mowery T.M., Zhang X., Alberini C.M. (2020). Early life experiences selectively mature learning and memory abilities. Nat Commun. 11, 628. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32005863

Travaglia A., Bisaz R., Sweet E.S., Blitzer R.D., Alberini C.M. (2016) Infantile amnesia reflects a developmental critical period for hippocampal learning. Nat Neurosci. 19, 1225-33. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27428652.


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