Neural Circuit Mechanisms of Behavior-Dependent Representation for Space and Time

2018 Seed Grant
Takashi Kitamura, Ph.D.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

The central question in my proposal is whether our perception of time and space share the same circuit mechanisms during our daily life. Recent studies suggest that neurons in the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) can represent either travel distance or elapsed time in a behaviorally-dependent fashion. The results suggest that the MEC may flexibly represent only behaviorally-relevant spatiotemporal dimensions in an information-compressed manner. However, how the brain optimizes spatiotemporal metrics under different behavioral contexts is still unclear. To address this question, I will examine neural circuit mechanisms for the behavior-dependent optimization of the brain’s spatiotemporal metrics by using mouse circuit genetics and cell-type specific activity monitoring/manipulating analysis of the MEC circuits, which would lead to the biophysically-­based mechanistic understanding of brain function for the animal’s perception of time and space.

Other Grants

Andre Berndt, Ph.D.
Monitoring Communication in Neuronal Networks in Real Time and at Single Cell Resolution
Visualizing the flow of information through the complex and intertwined networks of the brain is a long‐sought goal of neuroscience. Genetically encoded proteins such as the fluorescent calcium sensor GCaMP…
Denise Cai, Ph.D.
Investigating the Role of Negative Valence in the Temporal Dynamics of Memory-Linking
Determining how distinct memories are formed, linked, and retrieved, and the role of fear in these processes, is an essential part of understanding PTSD, a debilitating disorder characterized by the…
Dr. Weizhe Hong, Ph.D.
Dissecting the Organization and Function of Social Behavioral Circuits in the Amygdala
Social interactions play a crucial role in the reproduction, survival, and physical and mental health of many vertebrate species including humans. Impairment in social behavior is a hallmark of several…
Sheng-Han Kuo, M.D.
Aberrant Synaptic Organization in Tremor Disorders
Tremor is a prevalent and often debilitating disorder for many individuals; however, the cause of tremor remains poorly understood. We have previously identified alterations in the cerebellum, the brain region…