The neural basis of memory is of key scientific and clinical importance, but it is yet unknown how memories are formed and maintained. While it generally agreed that multi-neuronal activity is required for information processing in the brain, the requisite temporal precision of spiking is unknown. During the outgoing phase, I will use the rat spatial memory model system to study this issue. Rats will run in one of two paths after a delay period of wheel-running during which the forthcoming path will have to be memorized for above-chance performance. Using high-resolution silicon probes I will monitor neuronal activity in a region related to short-term spatial memory, the hippocampus CA1 region, and in a main source of input to that region, the entorhinal cortex (EC). I will use photo-stimulation of neurons expressing the archeal cation channel ChR2 in either CA1 or EC to introduce temporal jitter in the spiking activity of the recorded neurons with minimal influence on net discharge. By correlating the temporal jitter during the delay with behavioral performance during the run I will determine the spiking precision required to maintain short-term spatial memory. During this post-doctoral training, I will learn large-scale recordings and analysis of neuronal population activity in the hippocampus in behaving animals. The returning phase of the project will be dedicated to the application of these techniques to the field of visual electrophysiology. I will build a chronic large-scale recording experimental set-up in the return laboratory, based on my acquired knowledge. With the help of the imported techniques, skills and knowledge I will investigate the role of the ascending tectofugal visual tract in occulo-motor processes both in pathological and physiological states, as a continuation of my doctoral work.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/inorganic compounds
- /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/data science/data processing
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call