Learning and Memory

The Role of AMPA Receptor (GluR2) Trafficking in Cerebellar Plasticity in Adult Mice: An
Imaging Study

2009 Seed Grant
Christian Hansel, Ph.D.
The University of Chicago

A hallmark feature of our brains is their enormous capacity for information storage and learning.
In neuronal circuits, information is stored through long-term changes in the efficacy and gain of
synaptic communication, as in long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD).
But what mediates the changes in synaptic gain? Are they due to changes in response
properties of individual transmitter receptors, or by changes in the number and density of
receptors at the synapses? Recent studies using neuronal cultures suggest that trafficking of
receptors in and out of the synaptic membrane regulates synaptic gain. A caveat of these
experiments is that cultures keep neurons ‘locked’ in an early developmental stage. Using a
combination of patch-clamp recordings and imaging techniques, we want to examine whether
glutamate receptor trafficking also plays a key role in synaptic memory storage in the adult
brain.

Other Grants

Lindsay M. De Biase, Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles
The role of microglial lysosomes in selective neuronal vulnerability
Synapses, the sites of signaling between neurons in the brain, play essential roles in learning, memory, and the health of neurons themselves. An enduring mystery is why some neurons are…
How the nervous system constructs internal models of the external world
As animals navigate their environments, they construct internal models of the external sensory world and use these models to guide their behavior. This ability to incorporate ongoing sensory stimuli into…
Xiaojing Gao, Ph.D., Stanford University
When Neural Circuits Meet Molecular Circuits: Quantitative Genetic Manipulation with Single-cell Consistency
Cells are the building blocks of our bodies. We get sick when the cells “misbehave”. The way modern gene therapies work is to introduce genes, fragments of DNA molecules that…
Rafiq Huda, Ph.D., Rutgers University
Conducting the orchestra of movement—functional role of striatal astrocytes in health and disease
Movement requires coordinated activity across a large brain-wide network. The striatum is a particularly important part of this circuit; it integrates motor-related information from many distinct brain regions to regulate…