Learning and Memory by Christian Hansel

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

Other Grants

Rebekah C. Evans, Ph.D., Georgetown University
In Vivo and Ex Vivo Dissection of Midbrain Neuron Activity During Exercise
Exercise is important for the health of the body and the mind. Exercise promotes learning and reduces symptoms of brain-related diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. However, it…
William J. Giardino, Ph.D. Stanford University
Deciphering the Neuropeptide Circuitry of Emotional Arousal in Narcolepsy
This research project aims to investigate the neural mechanisms of a specific type of brain cell called neuropeptide neurons within a region of the brain’s amygdala network called the bed…
Howard Gritton, Ph.D., University of Illinois
Attention Mechanisms Contributing to Auditory Spatial Processing.
Our world is composed of a rich mixture of sounds. We often process sounds including speech in the presence of many other competing auditory stimuli (e.g., voices in a crowded…
Nora Kory, Ph.D., Harvard University
Elucidating the Fates and Functions of Lactate in the Brain
The human brain requires significant energy to function. Despite accounting for only 2% of our body weight, the brain consumes a substantial 20% of the body’s energy, relying on a…