Neural circuits for navigation and memory

Project Details


How do humans and animals estimate their location? What types of sensory information are used? How are they combined? How does estimation of location go wrong in disorders such as Alzheimer's and schizophrenia? We have a number of projects available that aim to address these and related questions, with a particular focus on the role of a brain region called the entorhinal cortex. Our expertise includes in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology, optogenetics, molecular biology, use of viral vectors, virtual reality-based behaviours and development of computational models. The choice of approach depends on the aims and scope of each project.

Layman's description

Knowing where you are is essential for navigation and memory. This critical cognitive function requires a brain area called the entorhinal cortex. This area is also the first to show pathology in Alzheimer's disease and is believed to be defective in schizophrenia. Nerve cells within the entorhinal cortex that estimate location are called grid cells, as they are active at specific locations that together form grid-like maps of the environment. Our goal is to understand the neural circuit mechanisms by which the entorhinal cortex estimate location and how these mechanisms go wrong in disorders affecting this area.
Effective start/end date1/11/14 → …


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