[LOGO] Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
The Weizmann Institute of Science

Dana Sherman

Dana Sherman Position: PhD student
Advisors: Prof. David Harel
Prof. Ehud Ahissar
E-mail: "dana.sherman" use the at symbol "weizmann.ac.il"
Office: Ziskind 304, phone: 2651 (+972.8.934.2651)

I model a neural system in the rat, called the “whisking system”, which allows the rat to perceive its environment. Since rats live in dark burrows, they cannot use vision in order to explore their surroundings. Instead they use touch sensation by sweeping their facial hairs, called whiskers, back and forth. The whiskers are innervated by a neural network called the “whisking system”, which keeps them in a constant motion. This constant movement is essential for the whiskers to continuously collect information from their surroundings. Many other sensory systems were found to operate in a similar manner, including human vision, smell and touch, in which a constant motion of the sensors is essential for a continuous sampling of their surroundings. Thus, understanding the way the whisking system works may lead to a better understanding of the way our senses work, which may eventually help disabled people.
In my research I study the way the whisking system works by building a computerized model, based on the visual language of statecharts, which allows: (1) running a dynamic simulation that mimics the behavior of the biological system, which is crucial for understanding biological processes, (2) integrative overview of the system as a whole, and (3) modeling system’s behavior by assuming minimal assumptions.


Supplemental material for publications

Supplemental material for PhD thesis

Last updated: April 30, 2016