About me

I am a PostDoc researcher at the Department of Clinical Psychology I at Innsbruck university, under the supervision of Prof. Elisabeth M. Weiss.

My research interests are:

  • Eye movements
  • Pupillometry
  • Cognitive control
  • Numerical processing

Contact information

Ronen Hershman
Innsbruck University
Innsbruck, Austria.
Office: Innrain 9, room 10
Phone: +43(0)51250756026
Em@il: Ronen.Hershman@uibk.ac.at
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Lecture

  • Fall 2023:
    • Department of Psychology: Specific Clinical Research Methods.
    • Department of Psychology: Seminar on basic- and practice deepening: Eye movements.

Teaching assistant

  • Fall 2015:
    • Department of Psychology: Introduction to Statistics.
  • Fall 2016:
    • Department of Cognitive Neuroscience: Probability for Brain and Cogitative Sciences.
    • Department of Psychology: Introduction to Statistics.
  • String 2017:
    • Department of Cognitive Neuroscience: Linear Algebra for Cognitive and Brain Sciences.
  • Fall 2017:
    • Department of Cognitive Neuroscience: Calculus 1 for Brain and Cogitative Sciences.
  • String 2018:
    • Department of Cognitive Neuroscience: Linear Algebra for Cognitive and Brain Sciences.
  • Fall 2020:
    • Department of Cognitive Neuroscience: Cellular Basis of Neuroscience for Brain and Cognitive Sciences Students.

Projects

CHAP: Open-source software for processing and analyzing pupillometry data

Pupil dilation is an effective indicator of cognitive and affective processes. Although several eyetracker systems on the market can provide effective solutions for pupil dilation measurement, there is a lack of tools for processing and analyzing the data provided by these systems. For this reason, we developed CHAP: open-source software written in MATLAB. This software provides a user-friendly graphical user interface for processing and analyzing pupillometry data. Our software creates uniform conventions for the preprocessing and analysis of pupillometry data and provides a quick and easy-to-use tool for researchers interested in pupillometry. To download CHAP or join our mailing list, please visit CHAP’s website: http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/Labs/CNL/chap.

Cognitive control and pupil dilation

The Stroop task (Stroop, 1935) is one of the most most-used tasks to measure cognitive control. In the commonly used Stroop task, participants are presented with a color word in color and asked to respond to the ink color and ignore the meaning of the word. In general, the Stroop task arises due to both information conflict (detection of the ink color vs. word meaning) and task conflict (respond to the ink color vs. read the word). While most of the studies provide robust behavioral evidence for information conflict (faster responses in congruent trials compared to incongruent trials), the evidence for the task conflict (faster responses in neutral trials compared to congruent trials) is apparent only under specific circumstances (e.g., reduction of the cognitive control, or change in the expectation for conflict).

Pupil dilation is considered to be a good measure of mental effort / task difficulty (Kahneman & Beatty, 1966). Specifically, it is considered to be an index of effort in cognitive control tasks (van der Wel & van Steenbergen, 2018). In contrast to the standard reaction time (RT) measurement, pupil dilation has a temporal appearance that keeps the differences among conditions for long intervals. Hence, in our studies we used both RT and changes in pupil dilation as dependent measures. Our results provided us detailed information about the Stroop task. First, in contrast to the robust results provided by RT, pupil dilation presented clear-cut evidence for the existence of task conflict without any manipulation of control or the expectation for conflict. In addition and more important, the evidence for the task conflict appeared earlier than the evidence for the information conflict. These results are in line with Goldfarb and Henik’s (2007) who suggested that because it appears early, it can be dealt with earlier and thus contributes to the production of (small) facilitation rather than reverse facilitation in regular Stroop studies.

Publications

Hershman, R., Henik, A., & Cohen, N. (2018). A novel blink detection method based on pupillometry noise. Behavior Research Methods, 50(1), 107-114. http://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-017-1008-1

Hershman, R., Henik, A., & Cohen, N. (2019). CHAP: Open-source software for processing and analyzing pupillometry data. Behavior Research Methods 51(3), 1059-1074. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-018-01190-1

Hershman, R. & Henik, A. (2019). Dissociation between Reaction Time and Pupil Dilation in the Stroop Task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. 45(10), 1899-1909. https://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xlm0000690

Hershman, R. & Henik, A. (2020). Pupillometric contributions to deciphering Stroop conflicts. Memory & Cognition. 48(2), 325-333. https://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13421-019-00971-z

Hershman, R., Levin, Y., Tzelgov, J., & Henik, A. (2021). Neutral Stimuli and Pupillometric Task Conflict. Psychological Research. 85(3), 1084–1092. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00426-020-01311-6

Hershman, R., Levin, Y., Tzelgov, J., & Henik, A. (2021). The Contribution of Meaning to the Detection of Task Conflict. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 74(9), 1553-1561. https://doi.org/10.1177/17470218211001331

Sapir, A.*, Hershman, R.,* & Henik, A. (2021). Top-Down Effect on Pupillary Response: Evidence from Shape from Shading. Cognition. 212, 104664. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2021.104664

Gliksman, Y., Berebbi, S., Hershman, R., & Henik, A. (2022). BGU-MF: Ben-Gurion University Math Fluency Test. Applied Cognitive Psychology. 36(2), 293-305. https://doi.org/10.1002/acp.3918

Hershman, R.,* Beckmann, L.,* & Henik, A. (2022). Task and Information Conflicts in the Numerical Stroop Task. Psychophysiology, 59(9), e14057. https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.14057

Shechter, A., Hershman, R., & Share, D. (2022). A Pupillometric Study of Developmental and Individual Differences in Cognitive Effort in Visual Word Recognition. Scientific Reports, 12(1), 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-14536-9

Hershman, R.,* Milshtein, D.*, & Henik, A. (in press). The Contribution of Temporal Analysis of Pupillometry Measurements to Cognitive Research. Psychological Research. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00426-022-01656-0

Under review:

Hershman, R., Milshtein, D., & Henik, A. (under review). Processing and Analyzing of Pupillometry Data.

Hershman, R., Dadon, G., Kiesel, A., & Henik, A. (under review). The Resting Stroop Task: Evidence of Task Conflict in Trials with No Required Response.

In preparation:

Hershman, R.*, Beckmann, L.,* Keha, E., Wagner, M., & Henik, A. (in preparation). The Influence of Numerical Processing on Numerosity Processing: Evidence from Color-Digit Stroop Task.

Hershman, R., Keha, E., & Henik, A. (in preparation). The Contribution of Difficulty of an Irrelevant Task on the Task Conflict: Evidence from Color-Word-Gestalt Stroop Task.

Hershman, R., Gozansky, E., Keha, E., Kalanthroff, A., & Henik, A. (in preparation). Pupillometric Comparison between Vocal and Manual Color-Word Stroop task.

Milshtein, D.*, Hershman, R.,* & Henik, A. (in preparation). Attention to Intention: Pupillometry as Temporal Measure for Intentional Component during Emotional Imagery.

Conference presentations

Oral presentations at conferences:

Hershman, R., Cohen, N., & Henik, A. (2017, August). CHAP: An Open Source Software for Processing and Analyzing Pupillometry Data. Presented at the 19th European Conference on Eye Movements (ECEM), Wuppertal, Germany.

Hershman, R. & Henik, A. (2018, February). Disassociation between Reaction Time and Pupil Dilation in Stroop Task: Evidence of Task Conflict. Presented at the Zlotowski Annual Retreat, Sde Boker, Israel.

Hershman, R. & Henik, A. (2018, February). Disassociation between Reaction Time and Pupil Dilation in Stroop Task: Evidence of Task Conflict. Presented at the 5th Israeli Society for Cognitive Psychology (ISCOP) Conference, Akko (Acre), Israel.

Hershman, R. & Henik, A. (2019, February). Semantic and response conflicts in the Stroop task: Evidence from a Pupillometry Study. Presented at the 6th Israeli Society for Cognitive Psychology (ISCOP) Conference, Akko (Acre), Israel.

Hershman, R. & Henik, A. (2019, September). Dissociation between reaction time and pupil dilation in the color-word Stroop task. Presented at the 21st European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCoP) Conference, Tenerife, Spain.

Hershman, R., & Henik, A. (2020, February). The Contribution of Temporal Analysis of Pupillometry to Deciphering Cognitive Conflicts. Presented at the Zlotowski Annual Retreat, Ein Gedi, Israel.

Hershman, R., & Henik, A. (2020, October). Cognitive Control and Pupil Dilation. Presented at the 2020 Zlotowski Best Research Winners seminar, Beer-Sheva, Israel.

Hershman, R., Milshtein, D., & Henik, A. (2021, August). The Contribution of Temporal Analysis of Pupillometry to Deciphering Cognitive Conflicts. Presented at the online 43rd European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP).

Hershman, R., Sapir, A., & Henik, A. (2021, Novenber). Deeper is Darker: A Pupillometry Study. Presented at the 29th Object Perception, Attention, & Memory (OPAM) virtual conference.

Hershman, R., Beckmann, L.,* Keha, E., Wagner, M., & Henik, A. (2022, March). The Color-Number Stroop Task. Presented at the Zlotowski Annual Retreat, Ein Gedi, Israel.

Presentation of posters at conferences:

Hershman, R., Cohen, N., & Henik, A. (2016, February). CHAP: An Open Source Software for Processing and Analyzing Pupillometry Data. Presented at the 3rd Conference on Cognition Research of the Israeli Society for Cognitive Psychology (ISCOP), Akko (Acre), Israel.

Hershman, R., Cohen, N., & Henik, A. (2016, August). CHAP: An Open Source Software for Processing and Analyzing Pupillometry Data. Presented at the 39th European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP), Barcelona, Spain.

Hershman, R., Cohen, N., & Henik, A. (2017, February). Blink Detection Based on “Noise” in Pupillometry Data. Presented at the 4th Israeli Society for Cognitive Psychology (ISCOP) Conference, Akko (Acre), Israel.

Hershman, R., Cohen, N., & Henik, A. (2017, May). CHAP: An Open Source Software for Processing and Analyzing Pupillometry Data. Presented at the 17th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), St. Pete Beach, FL, United States.

Hershman, R., Henik, A., & Cohen, N. (2017, August). Blink Detection Based on “Noise” in Pupillometry Data. Presented at the 40th European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP), Berlin, Germany.

Hershman, R., Cohen, N., & Henik, A. (2017, September). CHAP: An Open Source Software for Processing and Analyzing Pupillometry Data. Presented at the 20th European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCoP) Conference, Potsdam, Germany.

Hershman, R., Beckmann, L., & Henik, A. (2018, April). The Dissociation between Pupil Dilation and Reaction Time in the Numerical Stroop Task. Presented at the 1st Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society (MCLS) Conference, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Hershman, R., Henik, A., & Cohen, N. (2018, May). Novel Blink Detection Method Based on Pupillometry Noise. Presented at the 18th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS), St. Pete Beach, FL, United States.

Hershman, R. & Henik, A. (2018, August). Disassociation between Reaction Time and Pupil Dilation in the Stroop Task. Presented at the 41th European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP), Trieste, Italy.

Hershman, R., Devyatko, D., Wagner, M., Kimchi, R., & Henik, A. (2019, February). When the brain fools your eyes: Pupil response in motion-induced blindness. Presented at the 6th Israeli Society for Cognitive Psychology (ISCOP) Conference, Akko (Acre), Israel.

Hershman, R. & Henik, A. (2019, March). Dissociation between Reaction Time and Pupil Dilation in the Stroop Task. Presented at the 15th Karniel Computational Motor Control Workshop (CMCW), Beer-Sheva, Israel.

Hershman, R. & Henik, A. (2019, November). Dissociation between Reaction Time and Pupil Dilation in the Stroop Task. Presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Montréal, Canada.

Hershman, R. & Henik, A. (2019, November). The Contribution of Temporal Analysis of Pupillometry to Deciphering Cognitive Conflicts. Presented at the 27th Object Perception, Attention, & Memory (OPAM) conference, Montréal, Canada.

Hershman, R. & Henik, A. (2020, February). The Resting Stroop Task: Evidence of Task Conflict in Trials with No Required Response. Presented at the 7th Israeli Society for Cognitive Psychology (ISCOP) Conference, Akko (Acre), Israel.

Hershman, R. & Henik, A. (2020, June). The Contribution of Temporal Analysis of Pupillometry to Deciphering Cognitive Conflicts. Presented at the virtual 20th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VVSS).

Hershman, R., Milshtein, D., & Henik, A. (2020, November). The Contribution of Temporal Analysis of Pupillometry to Deciphering Cognitive Conflicts. Presented at the virtual 61th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society.

Hershman, R., Sapir, A., & Henik, A. (2021, February). Top-down effect on pupillary response: evidence from shape from shading. Presented at the virtual 8th Israeli Society for Cognitive Psychology (ISCOP) Conference.

Hershman, R., Levin, Y., Tzelgov, J., & Henik, A. (2021, August). The Contribution of Meaning to the Detection of Task Conflict. Presented at the online 43rd European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP).

Hershman, R., Levin, Y., Tzelgov, J., & Henik, A. (2021, November). The Contribution of Meaning to the Detection of Task Conflict. Presented at the virtual 62nh Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society.

Hershman, R., Beckmann, L., & Henik, A. (2022, February). Task and Information Conflicts in the Numerical Stroop Task. Presented at the virtual 9th Israeli Society for Cognitive Psychology (ISCOP) Conference.