Fluorescence Calcium-Imaging of Neural Population Activity in Freely Moving Mice to Study Memory Formation and Recall

July 18th, 2018 PABLO JERCOG IDIBAPS, Barcelona

After more than 40 years of research investigating how information is encoded in the neural activity of hippocampal neurons, the neuroscience community has just started to understand how memories are encoded at the neuronal population level. Hippocampus is a component of the medial temporal lobe circuit, which has critical functions in many cognitive processes. Despite extensive studies, a specific readout of hippocampal neural activity that underlies the processes of memory formation and recall is still missing. Over the last years we have developed readouts of neural-activity that underlies memory formation during learning of a spatial navigation tasks. Our findings show that the more the mouse is familiarized with the spatial context, the encoded spatial information changes, in line with the improvement observed in the behavior.

Applying new techniques in neuronal recordings of large population of neurons utilizing miniaturized microscopes on an ongoing translation project, I will introduce a novel behavioral task that allows us to measure spatial memory formation and recall that provides high behavioral and neuro-electrophysiological throughput. This approach is enabling us to robustly investigate how memory related neural activity changes during memory formation and memory recall. This task is our current benchmark to understand the effects of neural diseases like NMDA-encephalitis in human patients as well as therapies for rehabilitation for a family of diseases affecting memory formation and recall.

All results are the product of several experiments and data analysis performed in the labs of Eric Kandel, Larry Abbott, Mark Schnitzer, Jaime de la Rocha and Josep Dalmau.

Wednesday, July 18, 12:00, 2018. ICFO’s Seminar Room

Hosted by Dr. Laurent Ladépêche