Edinburgh Research Explorer

Gulsen Surmeli

Senior Research Fellow

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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Columbia University

Research Interests

Our research is focused on how neural circuits for cognition are built and operate. Specifically, we are investigating mechanisms that establish and coordinate widespread cortical networks for memory. Our multidisciplinary approach combines molecular and genetic tools with circuit analyses and in vivo imaging.

 

How do brains generate representations of our experiences? Encoding and retaining experience based memory (episodic memory) is thought to rely on an interplay between hippocampal and neocortical areas.

Current theories suggest that while the hippocampus initially stores memories of new experiences, in the long-term memories are transformed into memory traces that are distributed throughout the neocortex. This transfer involves an intermediate brain region called the entorhinal cortex.

Because of its input from the hippocampus and wide ranging projections to cortical systems, the entorhinal cortex might play a pivotal role in the formation and coordination of cortical memory networks.

However, organising principles for distribution of entorhinal projections to the cortex have not been established and how these projections play roles in the formation and shaping of cortical network activity is unknown. We investigate these unknowns at a circuit level using advanced anatomical, electrophysiological, optogenetic and live imaging methods.

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