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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Caterina Falvella

PhD Student



Project Title: Experience-dependent memory consolidation in the hippocampus

Summary: Sleep plays a fundamental role in memory consolidation. Indeed during this resting period, memory consolidation is thought to occur through the replay, or reactivation, in the hippocampus of neuronal ensembles encoding awake experiences. The newly replayed memories are then believed to get transferred from the hippocampus to the neocortex, where they are stored and integrated. Together, these replay and transferral processes would eventually consolidate the memory traces. A number of observations have shown that during sleep these processes are characterized by a widespread coordinated electrophysiological activity occurring across the hippocampal region, the neocortex and the subcortical structures. Within the hippocampal region, the medial entorhinal cortex is crucial to mediate the communication between the hippocampus and the neocortex. Although several studies across species have suggested it plays an important role in the transferral of memory traces to the cortex and their consolidation, the interactions between the sensory cortical areas and the hippocampal region during sleep remain poorly understood. In my project I will use in vivo electrophysiological recording techniques in virtual environments in mice to study the formation of spatial patterns and how the replay plays an important role in its formation.



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