Prof. Zvi Wollberg

Emeritus in School of Zoology
ביה"ס לזואולוגיה אמריטוס
Prof. Zvi Wollberg
Phone: 03-6409124
Fax: 03-6407271
Office: Sherman - Life Sciences, 226



1970-197 Postdoctoral trainee; Auditory and cellular Neurophysiology, 2 National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA. 
1965-1970 Ph.D.; Neurophysiology, Hebrew Univesrity School of Medicine
1962-1965 M.Sc.; Zoology, Tel Aviv University
1958-1962 B.Sc; Biology, Tel Aviv University


Academic and Professional Experience:

 1988-  Full Professor; Zoology, TAU
1981-1988 Associate Professor; Zoology, TAU
1974-1981 Senior Lecturer; Zoology, TAU
1969-1974 Lecturer; Zoology, TAU
1967-1969  Instructor; Zoology, TAU
1962-1967 Teaching Assistant; Zoology, TAU


Other Appointments:

1978-1980 Head, Dept. of Zoology
1993-1994 Dean of Immigrant absorption
1992-1996 Member of the university committee for promotion and tenure
2004 – 2006 President , Israel Society For Neuroscience (ISFN)


Research Interests

The question of whether specific sensory nuclei possess intrinsic constraints that enable them to process only the input of the original sensory modality has been extensively studied in recent years, applying various approaches and experimental procedures. Our principal research interest, along this line, focuses on the rerouting and reorganization of sensory brain areas as a result of congenital or induced blindness. The main animal models that we use are the blind mole rat (Spalax ehrenbergi) - a subterranean rodent that is born with extremely degenerated eyes, and neonatally enucleated hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus). Applying electrophysiological, structural, metabolic and projection tracing procedures, we are investigating the response characteristics and connectivity patterns of original visual areas that turned into auditory responding areas following visual impairment.

Recent Publications

Bronchti, G., P. Heil, H. Scheich and Z. Wollberg, Auditory pathway and auditory activation of primary visual centers in the blind mole rat (Spalax ehrenbergi): A 2 deoxyglucos study. J. Comp. Neurol., 28:253274, 1989.


Bronchti, G., Rado, R. Terkel, J. and Wollberg, Z. Retinal projections in the blind mole rat: WGH HRP tracing study of a natural degeneration. Dev. Brain Res., 58:159 170, 1991.


Heil, P., Bronchti, G. Wollberg, Z. and Scheich, H. Invasion of visual cortex by the auditory system in the naturally blind mole rat. NeuroReport 2, 735 738, 1991.


Rado, R., Wollberg, Z. and Terkel, J. The ontogeny of seismic communication during dispersal in the blind mole rat. Anim. Behav., 42:15 21, 1991.


Rado, R., Bronchti, G. Wollberg, Z. and Terkel, J. Sensitivity to light of the blind mole rat: Behavioral and neuroanatomical study. Isr. J. Zool. 38:323 331, 1992.


Doron, N. and Wollberg Z. Cross-modal neuroplasticity in the blind mole rat Spalax ehrenbergi: a WGA-HRP tracing study. NeuroReport, 5:2697-2701, 1994.


Rado, R., Terkel, J.and Wollberg, Z. Seismic communication signals in the blind mole-rat ( Spalax ehrenbergi): electrophysiological and behavioral evidence for their processing by the auditory system. J Comp Physiol A, 183: 503:511, 1998.



Yaka, R., Yinon, U. and Wollberg, Z. Auditory activation of cortical visual areas in cats after early visual deprivation. European J. of Neuroscience, 11:1301-1312, 1999.



Yaka, R., Yinon, U., Rosner, M. and Wollberg, Z. Pathological and experimentally induced blindness induces auditory activity in the cat primary cortex. Exp. Brain Res., 131:144-148, 2000.



Yaka, R., Notkin, N., Yinon, U. and Wollberg, Z. Visual, auditory and bimodal activity in the banks of the Lateral Suprasylvian sulcus in the cat. Neuroscience and Behavioral Physiology, 32(1):103-106, 2002.



Izraeli, R., Koay, G., Lamish, M., Heicklen-Klein, A.J., Heffner, H.E., Heffner, R.S. and Wollberg, Z. Cross -modal neuroplasticity in neonatally enucleated hamsters: structure, electrophysiology and behavior. Eur. J. Neurosci., 15:693 -712, 2002.



Bronchti, G., Heil, P., Sadka, R., Hess, A., Scheich, H. and Wollberg, Z. Auditory activation of 'visual' cortical areas in the blind mole rat (Spalax ehrenbergi). Eur. J. Neurosci., 16:311 -329, 2002.



Sadka, R. S. and Wollberg, Z. Response properties of auditory activated cells in the occipital cortex of the blind mole rat: an electrophysiological study. J. Comp. Physiol. A, 190:403-413, 2004.


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