Representation of Spatial Information
Utilizing high-density recordings allowing for the simultaneous recording of hundreds of neurons from hippocampal areas CA1 and CA3, we aim to explore how spatial information is represented, consolidated, and retrieved by the hippocampus. By recording from hundreds of neurons simultaneously, both spatial and non-spatial information can be extracted from the spike trains of the recorded neurons, providing access to episodic-like memory formation and recall mechanisms.
With paired recordings from both the hippocampus and various cortical regions, we will examine how information is 'transferred' from the hippocampus to the cortex for long-term storage. With the use of unique behavioral paradigms, we can explore the development and modification of schemas, or mental frameworks, to study categorical learning mechanisms.
Control of Neuromodulatory Input
Using optogenetic manipulation of dopamingergic/cholinergic/serotinergic inputs to the hippocampus during both exploration and post-experience rest, we can begin to research how these neuromodulators influence information representation, memory formation, and memory recall and use.