Moshe Bar (neuroscientist)

Moshe Bar (neuroscientist)

Moshe Bar is a neuroscientist, associate professor in psychiatry and radiology at Harvard Medical School, and associate professor in psychiatry and neuroscience at Massachusetts General Hospital. He directs the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging.[1] He has studied the effect of context on perception and recognition, the connection between the amygdala and "gut responses" to novel stimuli, and affective perception.[2][3][4]


Professional History

Bar graduated from Ben-Gurion University in Israel in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering. After graduating from University, Bar spent the next six years as a member of Israeli Air Force, during which time he began his Masters work in Computer Science at the Weizmann Institute of Science. After completing his Masters education in 1994, he entered a PhD program in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Southern California, where he was awarded the Psychology department’s ‘Outstanding Doctoral Thesis' Award. His dissertation investigated priming effects elicited by subliminal visual stimuli. Bar subsequently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University before receiving his present appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.


Using behavioral experiments and neuroimaging technologies including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG), Bar's research group investigates how the brain extracts and uses contextual information to generate predictions and guide cognition efficiently. Bar has also published research on a wide array of related areas, including the flow of information in the cortex during visual recognition, the cortical processes that underlie conscious perception (i.e., visual awareness), contextual associative processing of scene information, the cortical mechanisms mediating the formation of first impressions, and the visual elements that determine human preference. With the support of the National Institute of Mental Health, he has recently begun applying his research on contextual associations to neuropsychiatry, investigating if the neural networks mediating contextual associations are functionally impaired in individuals with mood disorders.

Representative Publications

  • K. Kveraga, A.S. Ghuman, K.S. Kassam, E. Aminoff, M.S. Hamalainen, M. Chaumon, M. Bar (2011) Early onset of neural synchronization in the contextual associations network. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(8), 3389-3394.
  • M.F. Mason and M. Bar (2011) The effect of mental progression on mood. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0025035.
  • M. Bar (2009) A cognitive neuroscience hypothesis of mood and depression. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13(11), 456-463.
  • M. Bar, K.S. Kassam, A.S. Ghuman, J. Boshyan, A.M. Schmidt, A.M. Dale, M.S. Hamalainen, K. Marinkovic, D.L. Schacter, B.R. Rosen and E. Halgren (2006). Top-down facilitation of visual recognition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 103(2), 449-454.
  • M. Bar (2003). A cortical mechanism for triggering top-down facilitation in visual object recognition. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 15, 600-609.
  • M. Bar and E. Aminoff (2003). Cortical analysis of visual context. Neuron, 38, 347-358.


  1. ^ "Moshe Bar". Retrieved 2010-04-06. 
  2. ^ "Elsevier: Article Locator". Retrieved 2010-04-06. 
  3. ^ Brown, Ian (2010-03-19). "We're Canadians, not Vulcans - The Globe and Mail". Toronto. Retrieved 2010-04-06. 
  4. ^ "What Do You See? - Science News". Retrieved 2010-04-06. 

External links

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