Technion Program for Excellence

Omri Barak / Mathematics, Physics

First degree in Mathematics and Physics at the Technion.

MSc degree in Life Sciences at the weizmann Institute of Science.

PhD at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Postdoc in the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience in Columbia University with Profs. Stefano Fusi and Larry Abbot, researching the distributed nature of neuronal representations.

Participated in the Technion Excellence Program: October 2000 – Jun 2003.
Omri took many courses from Bio-Medical Engineering faculty and studied advanced courses in mathematics.
He participated in a research project: “modeling dynamics of protein concentration in yeast population” under the guidance of Prof. Erez Braun from the Physics faculty and Dr. Naama Brenner from the Chemistry Engineering faculty.

Omri finished his MSc in Life Science (Computational Neuroscience) with Prof. Misha Tsodyks at the weizmann Institute. Thesis title: “Recognition by Variance: Learning Rules for Spatiotemporal Patterns”.

His PhD thesis: “Working memory in recurrent neural networks with dynamic synapses” was under the supervision of Misha Tsodyks at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Selected Publications:

1.     Barak O. Recurrent neural networks as versatile tools of neuroscience research. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 46 (October 2017): 1–6. doi:10.1016/j.conb.2017.06.003

2.     Rivkind A, Barak O. Local dynamics of trained recurrent neural networks. Physical Review Letters 118, no. 25 (June 23, 2017): 258101. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.258101

3.     Barzelay O, Furst M, Barak O. A New Approach to Model Pitch Perception Using Sparse Coding. ” PLOS Computational Biology 13, no. 1 (January 18, 2017): e1005338. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005338.

4.     Xu T, Barak O. Dynamical timescale explains marginal stability in excitability dynamics. Journal of Neuroscience 27 March 2017, 2340-16; DOI:

5.     Carnevale F, de Lafuente V, Romo R, Barak O*, Parga N*. Dynamic control of response criterion in premotor cortex during perceptual detection under temporal uncertainty. Neuron, Volume 86, Issue 4, 20 May 2015, Pages 1067–1077. (* co-senior authors)

6.     Barak O, Sussillo D, Romo R, Tsodyks M, Abbott LF. From fixed points to chaos: three models of delayed discrimination. Prog. in Neurobiology. 103:214-222. (2013)

7.     Barak O, Rigotti M, Fusi S. The sparseness of mixed selectivity neurons controls the generalization-discrimination trade off. Journal of Neuroscience. 33 (9), 3844-3856

8.     Sussillo D*, Barak O*. Opening the Black Box: Low-dimensional dynamics in high-dimensional recurrent neural networks. Neural Computation. 25(3):626-649 (2013) (* equal contribution)

9.     Barak O, Tsodyks M, Romo R. Neuronal population coding of parametric working memory. J Neuroscience, 2010 Jul 14;30(28):9424-30

10.  G. Mongillo*, O. Barak* & M. Tsodyks. Synaptic theory of working memory. Science. 2008 Mar 14;319(5869):1543-6 (* equal contribution) 

Today (2017): Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine in the Technion.

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