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memory and its disorders

Our laboratory at UCLA is studying learning, memory and its disorders.

Our field of study is Molecular and Cellular Cognition. The goal of this field is to derive explanations of cognitive processes that integrate molecular, cellular, circuit and behavioral mechanisms and to find treatments for cognitive disorders. We are part of the UCLA Integrative Center for Learning and Memory.

  • We are searching for the molecular, cellular and circuit processes that underlie the encoding, allocation, storage and linking of information in the brain.
  • Insights into mechanisms of memory are being used to unravel the causes and develop treatments for cognitive deficits associated with aging, intellectual disabilities, and autism. Recently, our studies in mice suggested that it is possible to reverse neurodevelopmental disorders, such as intellectual disabilities associated with mutations in NF1, TSC and DISC1 in adults.
  • Additionally, we hope our studies of the mechanisms underlying extraordinary cognitive function may lead to general treatments for cognitive disorders and to faster recovery after brain injury.
  • Our laboratory is developing bioinformatic strategies to address the growing complexity of the literature. For example, we recently developed a free web application to keep track of causal information in research papers (researchmaps.org). The resulting research maps and graphing tools are invaluable for integrating and planning experiments.

  • New Cell Reports paper with the Poirazi lab on biological model of memory linking across time: linked memories are stored in clustered spines in overlapping neurons (PDF)
  • New PLOS ONE paper on using CREB, neuronal excitability and optogenetic tools to explore mechanisms for trapping and activating emotional memories(PDF); See write up about this paper
  • New Nature paper on how memories are linked across time and how aging disrupts these processes! (PDF)
  • New paper with clinical evidence that lovastatin may be effective in reversing some cognitive deficits in NF1 (PDF)
  • New NF1 paper showing structural components of social and spatial deļ¬cits (PDF)
  • Our Miniscope Wiki is finally ready! Check it out at miniscope.org!
  • New TSC review (PDF)
  • New Learning and Memory perspective on ResearchMaps! (PDF)
  • Current Biology Interview with Alcino Silva
  • New Review with the Poirazi lab on Synaptic Clustering! (PDF)
  • New Nature Neuroscience paper with the mechanism and treatment for Noonan Syndrome!(PDF). For a NN News and Views on this article click here
  • New Current Biology paper with evidence that memory allocation is a widespread mechanism in the brain (PDF). For a Scientist article on this research paper click here
  • New PNAS paper on encoding and storing memory in retrosplinial cortex! (PDF)
  • New Book: Engineering the next revolution in neuroscience: the new science of experiment planning