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.

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…