The making, keeping and losing of memory

[Speaker] Morris, Richard G M:1
1:The University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)

Memory is fundamental. Distinct types of memory enable us to change our behaviour in response to experience, to record and recollect events, to acquire and use knowledge, and to plan for the future. The loss of memory remains greatly feared. The inability to recollect the events of our life can develop from a minor irritation to a condition that undermines normal existence.

A "Grand Challenge" for neuroscience is to understand the neural mechanisms encoding, storing and retrieving information, and how these break down to cause loss of memory. My group focuses on episodic-like memory encoding via the hippocampus, the impact of subcortical neuromodulatory inputs on intrahippocampal 'cellular consolidation', and the interaction of hippocampus and neocortex in 'systems consolidation'. I shall describe behavioural techniques such as the watermaze and event arena, optogenetic studies of the synaptic tagging and capture hypothesis of consolidation, and new work on prior knowledge and 'schemas'.
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