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Mayank Mehta: Hippocampus 2.0

Director | Center for Physics of Life | Professor in Departments of Physics | Neurology | ECE. UCLA | USA [Bernstein Seminar]
When Jul 10, 2024
from 12:15 PM to 01:00 PM
Where Bernstein Center, Hansastr. 9a, Lecture Hall.
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Hippocampus 2.0

 The hippocampus is implicated in many learning and memory disorders including Alzheimer's. Dozens of drugs have cured these in mice but failed in humans. Hippocampal neurons in rodents show robust spatial selectivity. Hence, the standard test of hippocampal function in mice is the Morris Water Maze, an allocentric spatial memory task. However, hippocampal neurons show very little spatial selectivity in freely foraging primates. Could this major difference across species play a role in the lack of translation from rodents to primates? Indeed, hippocampal damage in humans causes profound non-spatial, egocentric, episodic memory deficits, without any explicit spatial component, whose neurophysiological analog in rodents has been unclear.

 Crucially, the mechanisms governing these and a growing diversity of hippocampal responses, e.g. time cells, head-direction cells, social cells etc. have remained unclear. We propose a novel theory of hippocampal function, Hippocampus 2.0, which can reconcile and explain these issues, and provide several experimental validations of this theory. The results provide a novel, unified framework and experimental techniques for probing hippocampal function, which could improve translation of therapies from mice to humans.

 About the speaker and his research

 Hosted by Ad Aertsen


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