Prof. Shechner completed his M.A .and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Tel-Aviv University. He completed his first post-doctoral training at the Adler Developmental Psychopathology Institute and second post-doctoral training at the Section of Developmental Affective Neuroscience at the National Institute of Mental Health under the supervision of Dr. Danny Pine. He completed his clinical internship at Schneider Children’s Medical Center and is a licensed clinical psychologist. Tomer joined the Psychology Department at the University of Haifa as a senior lecturer in March 2013. His major line of research focuses on understanding the interaction between biological, cognitive, behavioral and environmental factors in the development of anxiety disorders.
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My research focuses on avoidance learning in pediatric anxiety in an effort to delineate the neural and cognitive underpinning of avoidant behaviors in clinically anxious youth. As avoidance is a key feature of anxiety disorders and given that the onset of several anxiety disorders occurs during adolescence, impairments in avoidance learning in this age group could be a risk factor for the development of subsequent psychopathology. Therefore, examining avoidance learning processes from a developmental perspective may assist in designing early prevention programs. Zohar hopes that his research will further expand our knowledge on the etiology underlying anxiety disorders, which could in turn influence the future development of innovative therapeutic interventions.
Shahar holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and general history from the University of Haifa. During his degree, Shahar served as a research assistant for a number of studies that examined the behavioral and brain mechanisms of fear learning, fear extinction, and risk factors for anxiety in children, adolescents, and adults. Currently, Shahar is pursuing a master's degree in learning disabilities.