FEAR MEMORY TRACEProject reference: 253380
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Cellular mechanisms underlying formation of the fear memory trace in the mouse amygdala
Total cost:EUR 205 091,2
EU contribution:EUR 205 091,2
Topic(s):FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IOF - Marie Curie Action: "International Outgoing Fellowships for Career Development"
Call for proposal:FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IOF
Funding scheme:MC-IOF - International Outgoing Fellowships (IOF)
"Conditioned fear memory in response to an auditory stimulus serves as a prototype for studying the pathological emotional states as well as understanding the neural mechanisms of memory allocation, storage, retrieval and extinction. The conditioned fear memory in mice has been found to be allocated and stored within a subgroup of neurons in the amygdala, a critical region for expression of this type of memory. Expression levels of the transcription factor CREB (cyclic adenosine 3’-5’ monophospate response element –binding protein) has been shown to modulate allocation of memory to a specific group of neurons, constituting the memory trace, and neuronal excitability could play a role. Our goals in this proposal are, first, to investigate the synaptic properties in pairs of LA neurons before and after fear conditioning, and second, to delineate the neural mechanisms that allow a neuron to encode a specific memory and become part of the memory trace. In approaching our goals, we will conduct electrophysiological experiments in mice transfected with viral vectors that co-express CREB tagged with the green fluorescent protein (GFP) and the gene for channelrhodopsin2 (ChR2) allowing for specific activation of the transfected neurons. We will study the synaptic properties in pairs of transfected neurons by stimulating one neuron with a laser and performing whole-cell patch clamp recordings in another one. In addition, we will construct a network of amygdala neuron models based on experimental data which will allow us to simulate the emergence of plasticity changes observed in neurons that encode the same memory, and study the underlying biophysical mechanisms of these plasticity changes. The results from behavioral, electrophysiological and modeling experiments will give us insights on how neurons compete with each other for allocation to a specific memory."
EU contribution: EUR 205 091,2
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