Tom Schonberg, Tel Aviv University


Tom Schonberg started his studies in the interdisciplinary program at Tel Aviv University, a program leading directly to masters without an undergraduate degree. He received his PhD from Tel Aviv University in 2010. In his PhD, he showed a direct link between reinforcement learning functional MRI signals in the human striatum and individual differences in learning. In his post-doctoral research, he studied the neural basis of risky decision making and then focused on mechanisms of behavioral change with and without external reinforcement.

Since October 2014 he is a senior lecturer (assistant professor) in the department of Neurobiology and the Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University.  The research in his laboratory is focused on the neural basis of behavior change. The lab studies the process of value construction, generalization, how values can be perturbed and how these processes are manifested in the human brain. The lab studies the multiple components of these processes by designing novel behavioral paradigms and applying converging research methodologies to analyze them. These include structural and functional MRI, eye tracking and computational decision-making models, all used together with the common goal of studying neural plasticity underlying behavior. Tom’s laboratory aims to adhere to open and reproducible scientific practices. 



2004 - 2010: PhD, Psychobiology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv

2001 - 2003: M.A., Psychobiology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 

1999 – 2001: Interdisciplinary program for excellent students, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv


Work Experience

2014 - :             Senior Lecturer (Assistant. Prof.) – Department of Neurobiology, faculty of life-sciences and Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University

2012 - 2014:    Research Associate, Imaging Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin

2010 - 2012:    Post-Doctoral Fellow, Poldrack Cognitive Neuroscience lab, The University of Texas at Austin

2009 - 2010:    Post-Doctoral Fellow, Poldrack Cognitive Neuroscience lab, The University of California, Los Angeles 

2004 - 2007:    Head of Teaching Assistants and e-learning course / Statistics for Psychologists, Psychology department, Tel Aviv University

2003 - 2004:    Clinical fMRI analysis and research assistant, The Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center


Scholarships and Awards

2016:                  Sieratzki prize for advances in Neuroscience

2009:                 Fulbright post-doctoral Fellowship

2007:                 Wolf Foundation, Excellent PhD students' award

2003 – 2008:    The Levie-Edersheim-Gitter Institute for Functional Brain Imaging Scholarship for Excellent PhD students

1999 – 2003:     The Interdisciplinary Program for Outstanding students – Full tuition 



2017 – 2022: European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant €1.5M, role: PI

Oct 2015 – Oct 2020: Israeli Science foundation (ISF) $400K, role: PI

Mar 2017 – Sep 2018: Austrian Science foundation: $50K, role: PI

Oct 2014 – May 2017: NIH $70K, role: Co-I (PI: Prof. Poldrack, Stanford University) 

Jan 2016 - September 2016: $21K role: Co-PI (Prof. Fellows)