Cellular and Systems Mechanisms of L&M
Siena, Italy
June 3, 2015

Pasted Graphic
June 3, 2017
Matt Wilson
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA

1- Reactivation of sequential activity in neural ensembles during waking and sleep
This lecture will focus on the neural processes within the hippocampus and neocortex that enable memories to form and persist over long periods of time. This work takes advantage of a technique that allows the simultaneously recording of the activity of hundreds of individual neurons across multiple brain regions in freely behaving animals. When combined with genetic, pharmacological, and behavioral manipulations, these recordings result in a mechanistic understanding of how animals learn and remember.
The lectures will cover studies of the reactivation of sequential activity in neural ensembles during waking and sleep. Because many cells in the hippocampus represent specific locations, it is possible to use their firing patterns to reconstruct movement trajectories that are being "replayed" during periods of rest. The function of such replay is not well understood, but it may play a role in memory consolidation, or even in action planning.

2- Coordinated brain activity during memory formation
This lecture will describe studies of the interplay between the hippocampus and other brain regions, such as prefrontal cortex, cingulate cortex, thalamus, and the ventral tegmental area. Understanding how activity is coordinated between multiple areas is likely to be crucial for understanding how memories are stored and retrieved. Key to the material presented will be methodological innovations. Recent advancements include motorized microdrives for improving tetrode yield and stability, the ArtE system for real-time feedback during experiments, and new computational tools for the analysis of neural activity.