Visual and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory



My research focuses on sensory substitution, mechanisms of neural adaptation and plasticity. Sensory substitution devices are capable of transmitting visual information for people who are blind. Brain plasticity is a phenomenon that typically happens when people learn to use these devices. In the context of my research I have tested several different sensory substitution devices in a variety of contexts and spatial tasks, such as obstacle detection and negotiation, object recognition and spatial localization, visual acuity, maze learning and virtual navigation. Using fMRI, my research has highlighted the recruitment of a similar navigation network in people who are congenitally blind, as well as demonstrated volumetric differences between sighted and congenitally blind individuals in terms of this network. My laboratory at Ariel University (The Visual and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory -VCN Lab) works on brain plasticity linked to different kinds of perceptual learning. We work also on the role of visual experience in shaping the neural networks involved in navigation. Our research is focused on the following specific five issues:

1-What happens to the regions typically involved in navigation in sighted people when humans are deprived of vision from birth? 2-Do the regions involved in navigation only process visual input, or are hey sensory modality independent? 3-Can we improve vision in sighted people through training? 4-Will this improvement lead to neural changes ? 5-Can we use sensory substitution to augment our senses?

 Link to Google Scholar Profile


Link to Researchgate Profile




  • Scientific Publications

(465 citations; h-index 10; i-index 10; g-index 21; cites\paper 15.50; cites\year 38.75)

 Google Scholar Profile

  1. Published Book Chapters

1- Harrar, V., Aubin, S., Chebat DR., Kupers, R., & Ptito, M. (2018). The Multisensory Blind Brain. In Mobility of Visually Impaired People (pp. 111-136). Springer, Cham.

2- Chebat DR., Harrar, V., Kupers, R., Maidenbaum, S., Amedi, A., & Ptito, M. (2018). Sensory Substitution and the Neural Correlates of Navigation in Blindness. In Mobility of Visually Impaired People (pp. 167-200). Springer, Cham. (cited 1 time)

3 -Chebat DR., Heimler B, Hofsetter S, Amedi A. (2018) The Implications of Brain plasticity and task Selectivity for Visual rehabilitation of Congenitally Blind Individuals. In: The Neuroimaging of Brain Disease: Structural and Functional Advances. Habas, C. Springer, New-York, USA.

4- Ptito M., Chebat, DR., & Kupers R. (2008). The blind get a taste of vision. In Human Haptic Perception: Basics and Applications (pp. 481-489). Birkhäuser Basel. (Cited 2 times).

  1. Published Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journal (average Impact Factor=3.269)

5- Chebat, DR., Maidenbaum, S., & Amedi, A. (2017). The transfer of non-visual spatial knowledge between real and virtual mazes via sensory substitution. In Virtual Rehabilitation (ICVR), 2017 International Conference on (pp. 1-7). IEEE. (ISI; Impact Factor: 9.237. Q1)

6- Amedi, A., Maidenbaum, S., & Chebat, DR., (2016). Comparatively exploring the neural navigation network when neuroimaging groups with different levels of vision while navigating virtual mazes with the virtual-eyecane sensory substitution device. International Journal of Psychology, 51, 877. (ISI; Impact Factor: 1.778. Q2)

7- Schinazi, V. R., Thrash, T., & Chebat, DR. (2016). Spatial navigation by congenitally blind individuals. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 7(1), 37-58. (ISI; Journal Impact Factor: 4.519. Q1; cited 23 times)

8- Chebat DR., Maidenbaum S., & Amedi A. (2015) Navigation using sensory substitution in real and virtual mazes. PLoS One, 10(6): e0126307. (ISI; Journal Impact Factor: 3.234. Q1; cited 20 times)

9- Amedi A., Chebat DR., Levy-Tzedek S., Buchs G., & Maidenbaum S. (2014). Returning sensory substitution to practical visual rehabilitation. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 55(13), 4146-4146. (ISI; Journal Impact Factor: 3.427. Q1; cited 2 times)

10- Maidenbaum S., Chebat DR., Levy-Tzedek S., & Amedi A. (2014). Vision-deprived virtual navigation patterns using depth cues & the effect of extended sensory range. In CHI'14 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1231-1236). (ISI; Journal Impact Factor: 1.427. Q2; cited 2 times)

11- Maidenbaum S., Chebat DR., Levy-Tzedek S., & Amedi A. (2014). Depth-to-audio sensory substitution for increasing the accessibility of virtual environments. In International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 398-406). Springer International Publishing. (Journal Impact Factor: 3.66. Q2; cited 4 times)

12- Maidenbaum S., Chebat DR., Levy-Tzedek S., & Amedi A. (2014). Navigation patterns and spatial perception with and without vision using assistive technology for the blind. Journal of Vision, 14(10), 1355-1355. (ISI; Journal Impact Factor: 2.72. Q1).

13- Maidenbaum S., Levy-Tzedek S., Chebat DR., & Amedi A. (2014). Blind in a virtual world-color, spatial perception and navigation for the blind using auditory sensory substitution in virtual environments. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 55(5), 2156. (ISI; Journal Impact Factor: 3.4. Q1).

14- Maidenbaum S., Levy-Tzedek S., Chebat DR., Namer-Furstenberg R, & Amedi, A. (2014) The effect of extended sensory range via the EyeCane sensory substitution device on characteristics of visionless navigation. Multisensory research 27(5-6):379-397. (ISI; Journal Impact Factor: 1.18. Q2; cited 16 times).

15- Maidenbaum, S., Hanassy, S., Abboud, S., Buchs, G., Chebat, DR, Levy-Tzedek, S., & Amedi, A. (2014). The “EyeCane”, a new electronic travel aid for the blind: technology, behavior & swift learning. Restorative neurology and neuroscience, 32(6), 813-824. (ISI; Journal Impact Factor: 4.18. Q1; Cited 34 times).

16- Maidenbaum S., Levy-Tzedek S., Chebat DR., Amedi, A. (2013) Increasing accessibility to the blind of virtual environments, using a virtual mobility aid based on the “EyeCane”: feasibility study. PLoS One, 8(8). (ISI; Journal Impact Factor: 4.24. Q1; Cited 37 times).

17- Maidenbaum, S., Levy-Tzedek, S., Chebat, DR, & Amedi, A. (2013). Blind in a virtual world—using distance information to accomplish virtual tasks. Multisensory Research, 26, 171-171. (ISI; Journal Impact Factor: 1.036. Q2).

18- Maidenbaum, S., Arbel, R., Abboud, S., Chebat, DR, Levy-Tzedek, S., & Amedi, A. (2012). Virtual 3D shape and orientation discrimination using point distance information. In Proc. of the 9th Intl Conf. Disability, Virtual Reality & Associated Technologies (pp. 471-474). ICDVRAT. The University of Reading, Reading, UK. (Cited 8 times).

19- Maidenbaum, S., Hannasi, S., Abboud, S., Arbel, R., Shipuznikov, A., Levy-Tzedek, S., DR. Chebat & Amedi, A. (2012). The EyeCane-Distance information for the blind. In Journal of Molecular Neuroscience (Vol. 48, pp. S75-S76). (ISI; Journal Impact Factor: 1.18. Q2; Cited 1 time).

20- Chebat DR., Schneider FC, Kupers R., Ptito M. (2011) Navigation with a sensory substitution device in congenitally blind individuals. Neuroreport, 22, 342-347. (ISI; Journal Impact Factor: 2.163, Q2; Cited 72 times)

21- Kupers R., Chebat DR., Madsen K., Paulson O., & Ptito M. (2010). P36-8 Insights from darkness: neural correlates of virtual route recognition in congenital blindness. Clinical Neurophysiology, 121, S319. (ISI; Journal Impact Factor: 2.979, Q1)

22-  Kupers R & Chebat DR., Madsen K., Paulson O.B., Christensen R. and Ptito M. (2010) Neural correlates of virtual route recognition in congenital blindness. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 107, 12716-12721. (ISI; Journal Impact Factor: 9.737, Q1; Cited 96 times)

23- Chebat JC., Morrin M., Chebat DR. (2009) Does age attenuate the impact of  pleasant ambient scent on consumer response?, Environment and behavior, 42 (2) 258-267. (ISI; Impact Factor: 2.892, Q1; Cited 44 times).

24- Chebat DR., Rainville C., Kupers R., Ptito M. (2007) Tactile-'visual' acuity of the tongue in early blind individuals. Neuroreport, Dec 3;18(18):1901-1904. (ISI; Impact Factor: 2.163, Q1; Cited 68 times.)

25- Chebat DR., Chen JK., Ptito A., Schneider F.C., Kupers R., Ptito M. (2006) Alterations in right posterior hippocampus in early blind subjects, Neuroreport, Mar 5;18(4):329-33. (ISI; Journal Impact Factor: 2.163, Q2; Cited 38 times).

26- Chebat DR., Rainville, C., & Ptito, M. (2007). Navigation Skills in the Early Blind Using a Tongue Stimulator. In Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. SfN (ISI; Impact Factor: 7.452, Q1; Cited 5 times).

27- Chebat DR., Boire D., & Ptito M. (2006) Development of the Commissure of the Superior Colliculus in the Hamster. Journal of Comparative Neurology, Feb 20;494(6):887-902. (ISI; Impact Factor: 3.661, Q1; Cited 10 times).



Lectures and Presentations at Academic Conferences and Seminars

(a) Organization of International Symposia.

  1. ‘The Multisensory Space- Perception, Neural Representation and Navigation’.  Symposium submitted to the International Multisensory Research Forum (IMRF) conference in Toronto, Canada, June 2018. The symposium organized by Dr Daniel-Robert Chebat and Dr Shachar Maidenbaum will host talks by Professors Amir Amedi, Maurice Ptito, Ron Kupers and Olivier Collignon.

(b) Invited plenary lectures at academic conferences

  1. ‘‘Presbycor, from theory to practice. Long term results and incidence on brain plasticity‘‘ Chebat DR, Ghenassia C, Ptito M. (2017) June 18th. Refractiv'News Conference, Nice France.

  2. ‘‘The Impact of Visual Experience on the Transfer of Spatial Knowledge Between Real and Virtual Mazes via Sensory Substitution‘‘ Chebat DR, Maidenbaum S, Amedi A (2017) June 22nd. International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation (ICVR), Montreal, Canada.

  3. ‘‘Mechanisms of Training induced Brain Plasticity via Sensory Substitution in the Case of Congenital Sensory Deprivation‘‘ Chebat DR. (2017) July 9th. University of Quebec in Montreal, Institute of Cognitive Sciences, Montreal, Canada.

  4. ‘‘The neural correlates of navigation via sensory substitution for people who are congenitally blind‘‘ Chebat DR. (2017) May. Multidisciplinary Seminar, Behavioral Science and Management Seminars, Technion University, Israel.

  5. ‘‘Synesthesia and Multisensory Integration‘‘ Chebat DR. (2017) March. Michlala Academit Tel-Aviv, Ha-Beit Leomanut Israelit. Tel-Aviv, Israel.

  6. ‘‘Exploring the Neural Correlates of Navigation in Blindness using Sensory Substitution and Virtual Reality’’ Chebat DR. (2017) February. Virtual Reality and Rehabilitation Technologies Conference. 29-1-2017. Ariel University, Israel.

  7. ‘’Sensory Substitution and Brain Plasticity in the Congenitally Blind.’’ Chebat DR., Ghenassia C (2015) Refractiv’ News Conference. Juan-les-Pins, France, 1-2 July 2015.

  8. ‘’Perceptual learning in the dark: A combination of Real and Virtual-Reality Training for Blind Navigation via a Novel Sensory Substitution Device.’’ Chebat DR., Maidenbaum S, Amedi A. (2014) International Multisensory Research Forum – (IMRF) Conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 11-14th June 2014.

  9. Seeing with sound: Sensory Substitution in the blind.(2014) – Chebat DR. Global Jewish Advocacy, Meeting the Rhodes Scholars Delegation. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel.

  10. Seeing with touch: Navigation in the blind via Tactile Sensory Substitution – (2014) Chebat DR, The 1st Jerusalem Neuroaesthetics Symposium. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Givat Ram, Jerusalem, Israel.

  11. - ליראות את הקולות: ראייה מלאכותית בעיוורים – (2013) Chebat DR, Israeli National Center for Computer Science – The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Givat Ram, Jerusalem, Israel.

  12. Corrélats Neuronaux de la navigation et de la négociation d’obstacles chez les aveugles congénitaux (2009)- Chebat DR, 77e Congrès de l’ACFAS. Ottawa, Canada.

(c)   Presentation of papers at major academic conferences

  1. 2016 -’’The Neural Correlates of Navigation: A double dissociation for scene selection and navigation in the blind.’’ Chebat DR.,  Maidenbaum M, Amedi A. Space and Time in the Brain, Jerusalem Cinematheque, Israel December 7-8, 2016.

  2. 2014 - Blind Navigation with Sensory Substitution Devices in Real and Virtual Mazes Israeli Society for Vision and Eye Research (ISVER). Tel Aviv, Israel.

  3. 2014- Real world and Virtual Maze solving using Sensory Substitution in the absence of Vision. ISCOP Israeli Society for Cognitive Psychology. Akko, Israel.

  4. 2014- Real and Virtual Maze solving using Sensory Substitution. Edmond and Lily Safra (ELSC) Annual Research Retreat. Ein Gedi, Israel.

  5. 2012 - Presentation of novel Sensory Substitution Devices. Microsoft THINK NEXT, 22 April 2012, Tel Aviv Israel.

  6. 2010 - An eye on the tongue : Neural Correlates of navigation in the blind. Israeli Society for Neuroscience, Eilat, Israel

  7. 2010 - Neural Correlates of obstacle detection and avoidance in congenitally blind subjects. 16th annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM). Barcelona, Spain.

  8. 2009 - La navigation chez les aveugles de naissance à l'aide d'un appareil de substitution sensoriel. Montreal, Canada.

  9. 2008 - Navigational skills in early blindness. The 9th International Conference on Low Vision. Montreal, Canada

  10. 2008 - Implication du réseau occipito-pariétal dans la navigation chez les aveugles de naissance. Journée Scientifique École d'optométrie et Groupe de recherche en santé de la vision (RRSV), Montreal, Canada

  11. 2007 - Navigation skills in the early blind using a sensory substitution device. Society for Neuroscience (SfN). San Diego, California, U.S.A.

  12. 2007 - La navigation chez les aveugles de naissance à l’aide d’un appareil de substitution sensorielle, Réseau de Recherche en Santé de la Vision (RRSV). Quebec, Canada

  13. 2006 - Reduced right dorsal hippocampus in the early blind, Society for Neuroscience (SfN). Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

  14. 2006 - Volumetric analysis of the hippocampus in early blind subjects, 12th annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM). Florence, Italy.

  15. 2005 - The Development of the commissure of the superior colliculus in the hamster. Society for Neuroscience (SfN). Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

  16. 2004 - The Development of the commissure of the superior colliculus in the hamster. Réseau de Recherche en Santé de la Vision (RRSV). Three-Rivers, Canada.

(c)  Presentations at Academic Workshops

  1. 2016 - Virtual Reality and Sensory Substitution: Applications for Research on Brain Plasticity. Virtual Reality Forum, Ariel University, Ariel.

2011 - An eye on the tongue: Neuro-cognitive substrates of navigation in the congenitally blind. Invited speaker at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliah.


עדכון אחרון ב-שני, 03 ספטמבר 2018 17:09