ICLM: Discover, teach, treatI.C. Learning & Memory

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Alcino Silva

The Silva laboratory is studying the molecular, cellular, circuit and behavioral processes that underlie the allocation, encoding, storage and linking of memories across time. To accomplish this they are using a variety of techniques including sophisticated molecular genetic approaches, biochemistry, optical physiology, optogenetics, electrophysiology, in vivo 2 photon imaging, a new generation of head-mounted fluorescent miniscopes, behavioral analyses, etc.

Silva and colleagues are also studiying the impact of these mechanisms in animal models of cognitive disorders, including intellectual disabilities. Based on these mechanistic studies, they have developed treatments for Noonan Syndrome, age-related cognitive decline, Neurofibromatosis type I, Tuberous Sclerosis, and cognitive deficits associated with HIV. The Silva laboratory is also developing approaches to accelerate recovery after brain injury and bioinformatic strategies for tracking and planning experiments (


Recent Publications

Yang Shen, Miou Zhou1, Denise Cai Daniel Almeida Filho, Giselle Fernandes, Ying Cai, Nury Kim, Deanna Necula, Chengbin Zhou, Andy Liu, Xiaoman Kang, Masakazu Kamata, Ayal Lavi, Shan Huang, Tawnie Silva, Won Do Heo, Alcino J. Silva. CCR5 closes the temporal window for memory linking. Nature (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-04783-1
Lavi, A., Sisan, F., Okabe, A., Ter-Mkrychyan, D., Sehgal, M., Silva, A.J. Local memory allocation recruits memory ensembles across brain regions. Neuron 2023 (in press) 2023 Feb 15;111(4):470-480.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2022.11.018. Epub 2022 Dec 22

Chowdhury A, Luchetti A, Fernandes G, Almeida Filho D, Tzilivaki A, Kastellakis G, Ramirez E, Tran MM, Poirazi P, Silva AJ. A role for the Locus Coeruleus dorsal CA1 dopaminergic projection in the modulation of contextual memory ensembles and contextual memory linking. Neuron 2022, Aug 24;S0896-6273(22)00707-3. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2022.08.001

Matiasz NJ, Wood J, Wang W, Silva AJ, Hsu W. Experiment Selection in Meta-Analytic Piecemeal Causal Discovery. IEEE Access. 2021;9:97929-97941. doi: 10.1109/access.2021.3093524. Epub 2021 Jul 1. PMID: 34532201

Manuel F. López-Aranda, Ishanu Chattopadhyay, Gayle M. Boxx, Elizabeth R. Fraley, Tawnie K Silva, Miou Zhou, Miranda Phan, Isaiah Herrera, Sunrae Taloma, Rochelle Mandanas1, Karen Bach, Michael Gandal, Daniel H. Geschwind, Genhong Cheng, Andrey Rzhetsky, Stephanie A. White, Alcino J. Silva. Early post-natal immune activation causes reversible social deficits in a mouse model of TSC: Mechanisms and clinical implications. SCIENCE ADVANCES 2021, Vol 7, Issue 38 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abf2073Mary T. Joy, Einor Ben Assayag, Dalia Shabashov-Stone, Sigal Liraz-Zaltsman, Nikita S. Thareja,Marcela Arenas, Efrat Kliper, Amos D. Korczyn, Efrat L. Kesner, Miou Zho, Shan Huang2, Tawnie K. Silva2, Noomi, Katz, Natan M. Bornstein, Alcino J. Silva, Esther Shohami, Stanley T. Carmichael. CCR5 is a therapeutic target to stimulate recovery in stroke and traumatic brain injury. Cell 2019

Frank, A. C., S. Huang, M. Zhou, A. Gdalyahu, G. Kastellakis, T. K. Silva, E. Lu, X. Wen, P. Poirazi, J. T. Trachtenberg and A. J. Silva (2018). "Hotspots of dendritic spine turnover facilitate clustered spine addition and learning and memory." Nat Commun 9(1): 422

Cai DJ, Aharoni D, Shuman T, Shobe J, Biane J, Song W, Wei B, Veshkini M, La-Vu M, Lou J, Flores S, Kim I, Sano Y, Zhou M, Baumgaertel K, Lavi A, Kamata M, Tuszynski M, Mayford M, Golshani P, Silva AJ. A shared neural ensemble links distinct contextual memories encoded close in time. Nature 2016 May 23;534(7605):115-8 PMID:27251287