The long-term goals of the Volk Lab are to elucidate the molecular and synaptic mechanisms of memory persistence, and to ultimately understand how changes in synapse function sculpt circuit-level information flow to facilitate the brain’s competing requirements for dynamic learning and persistent memory.
We combine animal-behavior studies with molecular biology, electrophysiology, and opto- or chemo-genetic methods in rodents to manipulate activity in discrete neuronal populations to investigate:
- How memory encoding and use changes across development under normal and pathological conditions.
- How sleep facilitates memory persistence.
We focus our studies primarily on the hippocampus, a brain region critical for learning and memory consolidation.