Dr. William Saban
Research work

Dr. Saban explores the uncharted territory of subcortical brain areas that are hypothesized to influence cognition. To date, he has utilized complementary methodological approaches regarding 1) lesion studies, 2) healthy humans using stereoscopic manipulation, and 3) comparative neuroscience using archerfish to investigate how the subcortex supports cognition (e.g., attention, arithmetic, language).

At present, Dr. Saban is focused on utilizing neuropsychological approaches to examine the role of the cerebellum and basal ganglia in cognition. For this work, he tests patients with degenerative disorders of the cerebellum (cerebellar degeneration) or the basal ganglia (Parkinson’s disease). To facilitate patient studies, he has developed and implemented a novel online platform for conducting neuropsychological research (PONT) in the USA. Dr. Saban is also developing iPONT: the Israeli Platform for Online Neuropsychological Testing, a joint venture between Tel Aviv University and the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, specializing in remote neuropsychological testing for individuals with neurological abnormalities such as Parkinson's disease, spinocerebellar ataxia, and dyslexia.

The main advantage of remote neuropsychological testing is the vast amount of data we can collect quickly. Dr. Saban’s research identifies risk factors and cognitive markers for these neurological abnormalities. With these large data sets, by utilizing computational models and machine learning algorithms, he aims to better map the subtypes and progression of these diseases, leading to improved earlier detection and personalized interventions.

Areas of interest & scientific knowledge

Brain Disorders Research

Cognitive Neuroscience

Behavioral Neuroscience

Selected Publications
  • Saban, W (PI & S)., Sekely, L (S)., Klein, R. M (C)., and Gabay, S (PI). (2017). Endogenous Orienting in the Archer Fish, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(29), 7577–7581.‏  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1700574114.
  • Saban, W (PI & S)., & Ivry, R. B (PI). (2021). Pont: A protocol for online neuropsychological testing. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 33(11), 2413–2425. https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_01767
  • Saban, W (PI & S)., Sklar, Y. A (S)., Hassin, R. R (C)., & Gabay, S (PI). (2021). Ancient visual channels have a causal role in arithmetic calculations. Scientific reports, 11, 22795. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-02260-9.
  • Saban, W (PI & S)., Raz, G (S)., Grabner, R. H (C)., Gabay, S (C)., & Kadosh, R. C (PI). (2021). Primitive visual channels have a causal role in cognitive transfer. Scientific reports, 11(1), 1-9. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-88271-y.
  •  Saban, W (PI & S)., Sekely, L (S)., Klein, R. M (C)., & Gabay, S (PI). (2018). Monocular channels have a functional role in endogenous orienting. Neuropsychologia, 111, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2018.01.002.
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