Curriculum Vitae of Igor Kagan

CV in pdf format


  • Date of birth: June 01, 1972.
  • Place of birth: St. Petersburg (previously Leningrad), Russia.
  • Citizenship: Israel.


  • 1996-2003
    Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, and Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (advisors Prof. Moshe Gur and Prof. Max Snodderly). Thesis: Responses of cells in striate cortex of alert monkeys: neuronal properties and effects of eye movements.
  • 1992-1996
    B.Sc. in Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Israel.
  • 1989-1991
    Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Physics and Mechanics, St. Petersburg State Technical University (former Polytechnic Institute), Russia.

Research interests

Investigations of cognitive and visuomotor functions in primates, focusing on the bihemispheric network processing of sensory information for action planning and decision-making in the context of goal-directed behaviors. Human-monkey cross-species comparison using functional imaging, pharmacological inactivation, and behavioral approaches. Neuronal basis of fMRI signals. Neurophysiology of active vision in primary visual cortex.

Working experience

  • 2011-now
    Head of Decision and Awareness Group, German Primate Center, Goettingen, Germany.
  • 2009-2010
    Senior Research Fellow, Richard Andersen Lab, Caltech, Pasadena, CA. Multielectrode bihemispheric electrophysiological recordings in area LIP for comparison with fMRI data, and for investigation of inter-hemispheric interactions. Collaboration with Dr. Melanie Wilke on combination of pharmacological brain inactivation of parietal cortex and thalamic pulvinar with fMRI to study spatial awareness and neglect.
  • 2003-2008
    Postdoctoral scholar, Richard Andersen Lab, Caltech, Pasadena, CA. Development and application of advanced functional event-related fMRI techniques (4.7T vertical scanner lab) to study visuomotor brain functions in behaving monkeys, and direct cross-species comparison with humans imaging (3T scanner). Structural scans for planning and visualization of recording chambers, injection cannulae and multielectrode arrays.
  • 1998-2003
    Graduate student, Max Snodderly Lab, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston, MA, and Moshe Gur Vision Research Lab, Technion, Israel. Development of visual neuroscience system for neurophysiological experiments in alert behaving monkeys.
  • 1997-2001
    Programmer, Animal Cardiology Lab, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Technion; Neufeld Cardiology Research Institute, Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer; Bnai-Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel. Design and implementation of data acquisition and analysis software packages for physiological labs (LabVIEW, MATLAB, C).
  • 1995-1997
    Research assistant, Mark L. Shik Electrophysiology Lab, Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Israel. Electrical stimulation and single unit recordings in the brain of amphibians during evoked locomotion. Development of software in C, LabVIEW, MATLAB and Perl for data acquisition and analysis, experimental records database.

Professional skills

  • Event-related functional MRI experiments in behaving monkeys and humans: design, setup, data acquisition and analysis (BrainVoyager, SPM, MIPAV, MATLAB). Extensive experience with different MR systems (Bruker 4.7T and 7T, Siemens 3T), scanner and RF hardware and software expertise and troubleshooting, knowledge of NMR physics, development and optimization of imaging methods for fast high-resolution functional imaging.
  • Visual and motor neurophysiology experiments with alert monkeys: electrodes' construction, craniotomy and electrode implantation, single- and multi-electrode extracellular recording, electrical micro-stimulation, and pharmacological inactivation. Behavioral training and maintenance of monkeys.
  • Neurophysiological data analysis and visualization, signal and image processing, statistical analysis of experimental results (MATLAB, LabVIEW, C/C++).
  • Extensive programming skills, including programming visual stimuli using custom (C/C++, DirectX, OpenGL) and Cambridge Research Systems (VSG SDL scripts and VSL) software. Programming data acquisition systems and behavioral control software (C/C++, RPvds real-time DSP circuits, LabVIEW Real-Time).
  • Modeling responses of cortical cells using analytical methods and computer simulations.
  • Surgical procedures: headpost, recording chamber, and cannulae implantations, eye coil implantation. Surgery planning using high-resolution structural MRI scans and frameless stereotaxic systems.

Teaching experience

  • Graduate courses: Brain and computer, Biological signal processing lab, Introduction to measurement and processing of physiological signals – Technion, Israel.
  • Undergraduate courses: Basic bio-electrical design – Technion, Israel.

Memberships and professional activities

  • Society for Neuroscience, Visual Sciences Society, Israel Society for Neuroscience, Japan Neuroscience Society
  • Ad-hoc reviewer for: Age, Acta Psychologica, Current Biology, Cerebral Cortex, European Journal of Neuroscience, Frontiers in Zoology, Journal of Neurophysiology, Journal of Economic Psychology, NeuroImage, Physical Review, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Vision Research
  • Ad hoc reviewer for funding agencies: ANR - The French National Research Agency, BSF - Binational Sciene Foundation (US - Israel), FWO - Research Foundation Flanders, KU Leuven GOA - Geconcerteerde Onderzoeksacties, MRC - Medical Research Council, NSF - National Science Foundation


Russian, English, Hebrew, German (reading)

Invited talks and seminars

  • 2016
    Decision making with the left and the right brain. OMV, Vienna, Austria, 2016
  • 2016
    Contribution of thalamic pulvinar to cortical spatial representations and visuomotor decisions. 6th Motivational and Cognitive Control (MCC) Symposium, St Andrews, Scotland.
  • 2016
    Contribution of thalamic pulvinar to cortical spatial representations and visuomotor decisions. The Institute of Movement Neuroscience, UCL, London, UK.
  • 2016
    Influence of reward, effort, and causal brain interference on spatial decisions. Emotional, attentional and motivational influences on visual perception, U4 Workshop, Ghent, Belgium.
  • 2015
    Influence of reward on spatial awareness and decisions. Extra-retinal influences on vision, U4 Workshop, Goettingen, Germany.
  • 2014
    Integration of reward, effort and risk in decision-making. Brain Circuits for Positive Emotions conference, Ascona, Switzerland.
  • 2014
    Bihemispheric mechanisms of spatial decision-making in human and non-human primates, NeuroBridges conference, Goettingen, Germany.
  • 2014
    Behavioral and neural correlates of spatial decision-making in monkeys and humans. Biopsychology seminar, Erfurt University, Germany.
  • 2014
    Behavioral and neural correlates of spatial decision-making in monkeys and humans. Institute of Experimental Psychology, Dusseldorf, Germany.
  • 2014
    Risk-seeking behavior during value-based decisions in monkeys is decreased by effort. EBBS symposium: Diverse functions of the brain's reward system, EWCBR-EBBS conference, Brides-les-Bains, France.
  • 2012
    Intra- and interhemispheric neuronal interactions during spatial decision making. Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research, Tuebingen, Germany.
  • 2011
    Intra- and interhemispheric interactions during spatial decision-making. Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.
  • 2010
    Interhemispheric interactions during spatial decision-making. McClelland/Newsome labs, Stanford University, CA.
  • 2010
    Intra- and inter-hemispheric integration of spatial and effector decision signals. ICM, Paris, France.
  • 2009
    BOLD dynamics of visuomotor representations in free-choice and reward-based decision. Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan.
  • 2008
    Saccades and drifts differentially modulate neuronal activity in V1: effects of retinal image motion, position, and extraretinal influences. Active Sensing Workshop, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel.
  • 2006
    High-field event-related functional MRI in alert behaving monkeys during goal-directed saccades. National Institutes of Health, MD.
  • 2006
    High-field functional MRI in alert behaving monkeys during goal-directed saccades. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Technion, Israel.
  • 2005
    Functional MRI and neurophysiology in alert behaving monkeys. Neurophilosophy: The State of the Art - McDonnell Project Workshop, Caltech, CA.
  • 2002
    Effects of fixational eye movements and nonlinear response properties in V1 of alert monkeys. Institute for Brain Science, Brown University, RI.


Please see Publications