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Itzhak Fried

University of California LA / Tel Aviv University
The Brains that Pull the Triggers
24 September 2015 -
23 October 2015,
15 April 2016 -
15 May 2016

Itzhak Fried is Professor of Neurosurgery and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. He heads the Cognitive neurophysiology Laboratory and is Director of the Adult Epilepsy Surgery Program and Co-Director of the Seizure Disorder Center. He is also a Professor of Neurosurgery at Tel-Aviv University in Israel. He has pioneered methods for studying the cellular basis of human visual perception and memory. He and Christopher Koch were the first to record the different responses of single neurons in the cortex with conscious and non-conscious patients. He is the author of some one hundred papers published in most prestigious scientific journals and a dozen chapters in volumes of collected works. His results are a challenge for social sciences and humanities, particularly philosophy, law, political studies and literature.

Research interests

Epilepsy; memory; free will.

Key publications

Syndrome E, The Lancet, 1997.

Single Neuron Studies of the Human Brain: Probing Cognition, co-ed. U. Rutishauser, M. Cerf, G. Kreiman, 2014.

Brain Stimulation and Memory, Brain. 2015.

Preconscious prediction of a driver's decision using intracranial recordings, with O. Perez , R. Mukamel R, A. Tankus A, JD Rosenblatt, Y. Yeshurun Y, Journal of Cognitive neuroscience, 2015.

The Brains that Pull the Triggers

The transformation of groups of previously nonviolent individuals into repetitive killers of defenseless members of society has been a recurring phenomenon throughout history. This radical change in behaviour is characterized by a set of symptoms and signs for which a common syndrome has been proposed, Syndrome E (Fried, Lancet, 1997). Individuals expressing the syndrome show obsessive ideation, compulsive repetition, rapid desensitization to violence, diminished affective reactivity, hyperarousal, group contagion, and failure to adapt to changes in stimulus-reinforcement associations. Our hypothesis is that this syndrome is a product of neocortical development rather than the manifestation of a disinhibited primitive brain. Rapid developments in cognitive and social neuroscience offer new opportunities to understand the biological roots of Syndrome E. Our aim is to increase our understanding of the perpetrator’s mind, and thus inevitably of the brain mechanisms which pull the triggers and make this most extreme and disastrous of human behavior possible, in the hope that it will help the human and social sciences address this problem.

Conference organized by I. Fried (UCLA / Tel-Aviv University) as part of the Paris IAS Brain, Culture & Society Program
06 Jun 2019 09:00 -
07 Jun 2019 13:00,
Paris :
Sleep and Memory
International conference convened by I.Fried (Paris IAS / UCLA / Tel Aviv U.) and A. Berthoz (Collège de France)
10 May 2017 09:00 -
12 May 2017 13:00,
Paris :
The Brains that Pull the Triggers - 3rd Paris Conference on Syndrome E

International conference organized by Itzhak Fried (UCLA / Paris IAS), Alain Berthoz (Collège de France) and Gretty Mirdal (director of the Paris IAS).
Contemporary period (1789-…)
World or no region