Prof. Ariel Knafo

Prof. Ariel Knafo

Prof. Ariel Knafo

Psychology Department, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
p: 02-5883798

Research Interest:

In the lab of social development, I and my students study are investigating different aspects of social development, starting from infancy and ending in early adolescence. Our main goal is to further the understanding regarding the origins of core aspects of the developing personality: pro-social behavior, cognitive and emotional abilities, empathy, emerging aspects of psychopathology and values as a key construct that directs human behavior. We do so by studying the genetic and environmental influences on related children’s behaviors, using the Twins’ model, sampling candidate genes that are known to affect the central nervous system and assessing the child’s environment, especially the behavior of his/her parents. In addition, we use physiological measures in an attempt to find endophenotypes that relates to pro-social behaviors. All this is done with 2 study cohorts: 1) The Israeli study of Family’s development: a study which assesses around 300 families of infants, followed from early pregnancy stages until the infants become toddlers and reach the age of 3 years. 2) The Longitudinal Israeli study of Twins (LIST), which assesses around 1000 families of twins from the age of 3.5 years until they are 13 years old.

 Publications:

  1. Uzefovsky, F., Shalev, I., Israel, S., Edelman, S., Raz, Y., Mankuta, D., Knafo-Noam, A., & Ebstein RP. (in press). Oxytocin Receptor and Vasopressin receptor 1a genes are respectively associated with emotional and cognitive empathy, Hormones and Behavior.
  2. Uzefovsky, F., Shalev, I., Israel, S., Edelman, S., Raz, Y., Perach-Bloom, N., Mankuta, D., Shamay-Tsoory, S., Knafo, A., & Ebstein RP. (2014). The dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) exon3 repeat shows a gender sensitive association solely with cognitive and not emotional empathy. Emotion.
  3. Abramson, L., Mankuta, D., Yagel, S., Gagne, J. R., &Knafo-Noam, A. (2014). Mothers' and fathers' prenatal agreement and differences regarding postnatal parenting. Parenting, Science and Practice, 14, 133–140
  4. Fortuna, K., Baor, B. Israel, S., Abadi, A.,  &Knafo, A.* (2014). Attachment to inanimate objects and early childcare: A twin study. Frontiers in Psychology - Personality and Social Psychology.
  5. Schonherz, Y.,  Davidov, M., Knafo, A., Zilkha, H., Shoval, G., Zalsman, G., Frisch, A., Weizman, A., & Gothelf, G. (2014). Shyness discriminates between children with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and Williams syndrome and predicts emergence of psychosis in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders.
  6. Ben-Shalom, U., Goldner, I., &Knafo, A. (2014). The role of internal locus of control in coping with anticipatory and post-event stress among IDF soldiers. Military Behavioral Health.