Lab alumni

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Michal Ron, MA in Developmental psychology

My research focused on risk factors for Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC). Specifically, the role of prenatal risk factors, such as maternal medical conditions and obstetric complications, and perinatal risk factors, such as pre-term labor and infant characteristics  in predicting autism diagnosis in the offspring. The data for this project has been collected by the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University.

I currently continue to work at the Bio-Empathy lab as part of the research project focusing on puberty in autism. Additionally, I will soon begin my developmental psychology internship.

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Ornit Freudenstein, PhD

I am a certified developmental psychologist, working in the field of autism spectrum conditions.

My research focused on an important period of development - puberty, in youths diagnosed with autism, with a particular interest in understanding the association between circulating sex-hormones and autism symptomology and social cognition. 

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Adi Tomer, MA in developmental psychology

My thesis was part of a larger study examining the development of empathy in children at risk, compared to children from normative families. My thesis  focused on emotional and cognitive empathy in the typical low-risk population, and how this is related to children's salivary cortisol levels. 

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Sapir Saad, MA in clinical psychology

My thesis examined the relationship between empathy and behavioral problems, and how this relationship is moderated by parental psychopathologies.  My thesis was part of a larger study one the environmental factors associated with children's empathy. I found that higher levels of cognitive empathy were associated with more externalizing problems when the parents’ psychopathology level was high, and to less externalizing problems when the parents’ psychopathology level was low. Thus strengthening the notion that empathy can serve as a risky strength in difficult environments.

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Dan Aizenberg, MSc in biology

My MSc thesis focused on exploring the heterogeneous nature of autism. I am using informatics to investigate the differences in phenotypes of individuals who received an early versus late diagnosis of autism. My research is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Alal Eran from the Biology department.

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Moran Mandel, MA in clinical psychology

I am interested in parental emotional language, and how it affects the child's emotional development and behavior.  My thesis, which was part of a larger study, examined the relationship between parental use of emotional language before the COVID-19 pandemic and children's behavior problems during the first wave of the pandemic. I found that a higher rate of parent's emotional talk during a storytelling task before the Covid-19 outbreak significantly predicted a smaller increase in the overall child's behavior problems during the first wave of Covid-19.

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Maya Zach, MA in developmental psychology

My thesis examined the relationship between children's responses to negative (distress) and positive (joy) emotions displayed by others. I found that 2-5 year olds' cognitive empathy responses to the two emotions are similar, but not the emotional empathy responses. 

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Gal Shklarzevsky, MA in clinical psychology

My thesis examined the relationship between gender identity, sexual orientation and empathy. Specifically, I aimed to disentangle the relationship between empathy and sex, gender roles, and sexual orientation.