Understanding Memory Association Through Modulation of Hippocampal-cortical Communication

2021 Seed Grant
Jai Y. Yu, Ph.D.
University of Chicago

Human and non-human animals learn from a myriad of experiences accumulated across their lifetimes. In addition to forming memories of individual experiences, brains associate information across distinct experiences, a process that leads to an understanding of the world far beyond capturing memories of isolated encounters. However, it remains unknown how this process is implemented by distributed memory networks. Dr. Yu’s proposed research will use the rat model to investigate the neural mechanisms of information processing across distinct experiences. His approach involves using large scale electrophysiology and closed-loop neural activity disruption to examine the relationship between neural activity patterns and the processing of distinct memories. This line of research is relevant for understanding the development of memory disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder, in which stressful experiences lead to the formation of persistent stressful memories. Investigating how distinct experiences are processed in memory can provide the foundations for understanding why certain memories are preferentially associated with others. This can potentially lead to new therapies that minimizes the formation of pathological memory associations.

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…