2022 David Kucharski Young Investigator Award, Ori Ossmy, PhD

Ori Ossmy, PhD
Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development
Birkbeck, University of London
Dr. Ossmy is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Department of Psychological Sciences and the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development at Birkbeck, University of London. Research in his lab focuses on the development of behavioural and neural mechanisms underlying human problem solving. He is married to Anastasia and a father to Ely and Max.
Dr. Ossmy obtained his bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering at Ben Gurion University. He then earned his MSc and PhD in Neuroscience from Tel Aviv University, studying perception-action mechanisms underlying human learning. He completed his postdoctoral research fellowship at NYU under the mentorship of Dr. Karen Adolph.

Behavioural problem solving is ubiquitous across every age and culture—how to navigate a cluttered environment, use a tool, and so on. As our bodies, skills, and environments change, new problems emerge and require new means to solve them. With learning and development, children respond more adaptively and efficiently to environmental challenges and opportunities. With injury and aging, responses become less adaptive and efficient. Dr. Ossmy’s overarching goal is to understand (and intervene on) neural processes that underlie changes in behavioural problem solving.
His research is based on the working assumption that macro behavioural changes occurring over relatively long time periods—changes due to learning, development, injury, and rehabilitation—emerge from micro, real-time experiences. These real-time experiences, in turn, play out in an interactive system of perceptual, neural, cognitive, and motor processes. The efficiency of these processes and their interactions differ widely among individuals. Thus, he developed an innovative approach to understanding macro behavioural change by testing micro-interactions among components of a real-time “planning cascade” from gathering perceptual information, to processing it, and finally acting on it.

Dr. Ossmy combines interdisciplinary perspectives (development, behaviour, neuroscience, motor control, computer science, rehabilitation), recording methods (fMRI, EEG, EMG, tACS, ECoG, single-unit recordings, eye tracking, motion tracking, virtual reality, video), analytic techniques (time-series analyses, machine learning, robotics), populations (infants to elderly adults, patients), and tasks (manual and locomotor).