The hippocampus plays a critical role in the organization of memories. Previous studies on the nature of neural representations in the hippocampus have focused on spatial representations by hippocampal neurons, but many studies in humans and animals indicate a broader role for the hippocampus in memory organization. Representational Similarity Analysis, which has been very successful in revealing the organization of neural representations in other domains, will be employed to explore how hippocampal networks organize memories that are distinguished by temporal context and by specific salient cues and rules; and how multiple memory representations are integrated and stabilized over time. These experiments employ a combination of multi- electrode recording in rats, state-of-the-art calcium imaging in behaving mice, and novel neural population analyses, to generate a new understanding of neural network representations. These studies are of high translational potential because cognition dependent on memory organization is impaired in mental disorders including schizophrenia.

Public Health Relevance

The experiments described in this proposal will provide major new insights into how memories are organized by neural networks in the hippocampus in rodents performing memory tasks that model human declarative memory. These studies are of high translational potential because memory dependent on these networks is compromised in mental disorders, and understanding the basic mechanisms of neural networks provides a platform for testing possible therapies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
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Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Study Section (LAM)
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Buhring, Bettina D
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Boston University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Eichenbaum, Howard (2018) Barlow versus Hebb: When is it time to abandon the notion of feature detectors and adopt the cell assembly as the unit of cognition? Neurosci Lett 680:88-93
Kredlow, M Alexandra; Eichenbaum, Howard; Otto, Michael W (2018) Memory creation and modification: Enhancing the treatment of psychological disorders. Am Psychol 73:269-285
Eichenbaum, Howard (2018) What Versus Where: Non-spatial Aspects of Memory Representation by the Hippocampus. Curr Top Behav Neurosci 37:101-117
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Eichenbaum, Howard (2017) On the Integration of Space, Time, and Memory. Neuron 95:1007-1018
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McKenzie, Sam; Keene, Christopher S; Farovik, Anja et al. (2016) Representation of memories in the cortical-hippocampal system: Results from the application of population similarity analyses. Neurobiol Learn Mem 134 Pt A:178-191

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