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 prof. Menachem Ben-Ezra (Ariel University, Israel)

is a professor of psychology at Ariel University, currently holding the position as the head of school of social work. He received his PhD in psychology at Tel Aviv University in 2007.
His research interests focused on psychological trauma, PTSD, human reactions to disasters, psychiatric epidemiology and history of psychiatry and PTSD prior to the 19th century. In addition, he has some works on stigma, attitudes towards role playing games like dungeons and dragons and internet addiction from a cross cultural perspective. He has over 120 publications.
He is a recurrent reviewer for the American Journal of Psychiatry and many other leading psychiatric journals.
Outside the academia, he served as a consultant to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on issues related to human reactions to disasters.
He recently published an editorial at the American Journal of Psychiatry looking at social networks analysis following disasters:

From shattered assumptions to disruption of core beliefs: Human reactions to terror across Israel, France and the U.S.

The purpose of the lecture is to emphasis the importance of core beliefs following terror attacks using the conceptual framework of the shattered assumptions theory and the anxiety buffer disruption (an expansion of the terror management theory). These conceptual theories will be used for explaining the results from a set of studiers conducted in France following the terror attack on Charlie Hebdo, the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris, the Orlando club terror attack in the U.S and the recent terror wave in Israel. Taking an epidemiological approach by looking at common denominators and unique contribution of variables that are less known in the psychological trauma literature. Psychiatric epidemiology approach and methodology were employed in the French and American studies. These studies were based on large internet survey panels matching each country’s census (age and sex) thus creating approximation of a national representative sample. Two main outcomes of mental health were the same across studies: Traumatic stress measurements and psychological distress. The results of the studies will be discussed in the lecture within the aforementioned conceptual framework. Implication of these studies to clinical settings will be also discussed.  


prof. Igor V. Pantic (University of Belgrade, Serbia; University of Haifa, Israel)

is a Docent (As. Prof.) of medical physiology at the University of Belgrade, currently the Head of the Laboratory for cellular physiology.  He received his MD and PhD degrees from University of Belgrade in 2008 and 2013, respectively. His research interests include psychophysiology, behavioral physiology, nanomedicine, and cell biology. In 2015, he received the Award for the best young scientist at the University of Belgrade, Faculty of medicine. He has published more than 40 in extenso research articles in Science Citation Index (SCI, Thompson Reuters) journals. In the fields of psychophysiology and psychiatry, he has published articles in eminent journals such as European psychiatry, Computers in human behavior, Psychiatry research, and Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking . He has served as the reviewer for more than 40 international journals (more than 500 reviews) as well as the reviewer for grants sponsored by Polish, Slovak and Portuguese national science foundations / Ministries for science. He is currently the Head of the project within The Mediterranean Society for Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes and Hypertension in Pregnancy.

Research on neurophysiological basis of mood and emotion: current trends and future prospects

Precise neurophysiological mechanisms that govern mood and emotions remain unclear. In recent years, there has been much focus on investigating the interactions between 3 major monoamine neurotransmitter systems in the brain: noradrenergic, serotonergic and dopaminergic. For example, during depression, symptoms of reduced positive affect such as loss of interest / pleasure, may be related to dysfunction in dopamine system. On the other hand, according to some authors, some symptoms of increased negative affect (i.e. increased feeling of guilt, fear and anxiety) in depression may be the consequence of altered brain serotonergic pathways. Specific brain neuronal pathways that are involved in modulation of mood and emotion remain poorly investigated despite recent advances in creation of novel animal experimental models suitable for this kind of research. Understanding neurobiological etiology of mood disorders is vital for the development of new medicaments in psychiatry, as well as new psychotherapy strategies. Therefore, it can be assumed that these issues will in the future remain a priority in psychophysiology and psychiatry research.