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The Role of Cortico-Hippocampal Interactions during Memory Encoding

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - CHIME (The Role of Cortico-Hippocampal Interactions during Memory Encoding)

Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2019-09-30

Our project examines how memories are consolidated by the bidirectional neural interactions between two brain regions, the neocortex and hippocampus. Memories are initially encoded by the hippocampus, but during sleep, these memories are transferred to neocortex for long term storage. Our research investigates a neural phenomenon (replay), by which patterns of neural activity first occurring during a behavioral episode repeat spontaneously, after the conclusion of the behavioral episode. Replay is a neural memory trace, and provides a mechanism for transferring memories between brain regions. Understanding how memories are formed and stored in the brain is a central objective in our research, and has important implications for understanding the underlying memory related problems arising from many brain disorders, such as dementia.
We have setup our experimental rig and behavioral apparatus, and have successfully conducted hippocampus inactivation with molecular genetic tools (Varela et al. 2016), and hippocampal recordings with silicon probes. We have designed and are implementing several behavioral paradigms, which will be combined with neural recordings to examine replay.
We are building micro drives using a STL-based 3D printer, that provides us with the flexibility to make further modifications on the design. Future versions of our micro drive will be freely available upon the completion of our research project. This will allow other labs to cheaply record from many neurons simultaneously.