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. My proposed research will use the rat model to investigate the neural mechanisms of information processing across distinct experiences. My 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.

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Byoung Il Bae, Ph.D., University of Connecticut
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