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Johnatan (Yonatan) Aljadeff


We study theoretical models of neurons and neuronal networks to understand brain organization and function. Modelling work is done alongside computational analysis of experimental data. We are interested in a broad set of problems:

  1. How are representations of the outside world formed and maintained in the brain? and why are particular representation strategies chosen?
  2. How are learning processes linked to synaptic plasticity? and what mechanisms allow animals to translate the outcome of their actions to signals that guide learning and adaptation?
  3. How do brain areas far from the sensory periphery make accurate inferences about the outside world, given contextual modulation, brain-state dependence, and stochasticity of neuronal responses?

Our work is based primarily on ideas and techniques from physics and mathematics, including dynamical systems, statistical physics and information theory.

We emphasize collaboration with experimentalists investigating diverse animal models—from in vitro experiments in rodents to in vivo electrophysiology in bats performing naturalistic behaviors.

Select Publications

Johnatan (Yonatan) Aljadeff - Full Publication list

  • Wang, B., Aljadeff, J. (2022) Multiplicative shot-noise: A new route to stability of plastic networks. Physical Review Letters, 129, 068101
  • Wu*, S-T., Chen*, J-Y., Martin, V., Ng, R., Zhang, Y., Grover, D., Greenspan, RJ., Aljadeff, J., Su, C-Y. (2022) Valence opponency in peripheral olfactory processing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119, 5
  • Ginosar, G., Aljadeff, J., Burak, Y., Sompolinsky, H., Las, L., Ulanovsky, N. (2021) A locally-ordered metric for 3D space in the entorhinal cortex. Nature, 596, 7872
  • Foo, C., Lozada, A., Aljadeff, J., Li, Y., Wang, JW., Slesinger, PA., Kleinfeld, D. (2021) Reinforcement learning links spontaneous cortical dopamine impulses to reward. Current Biology, 31, 1
  • Aljadeff, J., Gillett, U Pereira Obilinovic, N Brunel (2021) From synapse to network: models of information storage and retrieval in neural circuits. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 70, 24 (Review)
  • Eliav*, T., Maimon*, SR., Aljadeff, J., Tsodyks, M., Ginosar, G., Las, L., Ulanovsky, N. (2021) Multi-scale representation of very large environments in the hippocampus of flying bats. Science, 372, eabg4020
  • Inglebert*, Y., Aljadeff*, J., Brunel, N., Debanne, D. (2020) Synaptic plasticity rules with physiological calcium levels. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117, 52
  • Bouvier, G., Aljadeff, J., Clopath, C., Bimbard, C., Ranft, J., Blot, A., Nadal, J.P., Brunel, N., Hakim, V., Barbour, B. (2018). Cerebellar learning using perturbations. eLife, 7, e31599
  • Finkelstein, A., Ulanovsky, N., Tsodyks, M., Aljadeff, J. (2018). Optimal dynamic coding by mixed-dimensionality neurons in the head-direction system of bats. Nature Communications, 9, 1
  • Aljadeff, J., Lansdell, B. J., Fairhall, A. L., Kleinfeld, D. (2016). Analysis of neuronal spike trains, deconstructed. Neuron, 91, 221
  • Aljadeff, J., Renfrew, D., Vegué, M., Sharpee, T. O. (2016). Low-dimensional dynamics of structured random networks. Physical Review E, 93, 022302
  • Aljadeff, J., Stern, M., Sharpee, T. (2015). Transition to chaos in random networks with cell-type-specific connectivity. Physical Review Letters, 114, 088101


Johnatan (Yonatan) Aljadeff received his BSc in physics at Tel-Aviv University. He was awarded a Fulbright fellowship supporting his doctoral studies in physics at UCSD. Yonatan was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago, Imperial College London and the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Having travelled extensively to pursue his scientific career, Yonatan wishes to be a point of contact and support for international students. Those seeking non-legal advice on such matters are encouraged to reach out.