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  • Albert Lau Lab

    The Lau Lab uses a combination of computational and experimental approaches to study the atomic and molecular details governing the function of protein complexes involved in intercellular communication. We study ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs), which are ligand-gated ion channels that mediate the majority of excitatory synaptic transmission in the central nervous system. iGluRs are important in synaptic plasticity, which underlies learning and memory. Receptor dysfunction has been implicated in a number of neurological disorders.

    Research Areas: central nervous system, synaptic plasticity, computational biology, intracellular communication, ionotropic glutamate receptors, neurological disorders

  • Bakker Memory Lab

    Research in the Bakker Memory Laboratory is focused on understanding the mechanisms and brain networks underlying human cognition with a specific focus on the mechanisms underlying learning and memory and the changes in memory that occur with aging and disease. We use a variety of techniques including neuropsychological assessments, experimental behavioral assessments and particularly advanced neuroimaging methods to study these questions in young and older adults and patients with mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

    Through our collaborations with investigators in both basic science and clinical departments, including the departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Neurology and Public Health, our research also focuses on brain systems involved in spatial navigation and decision-making as well as cognitive impairment in neuropsychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, eating disorders, obsessiv...e-compulsive disorders, depression and anxiety. view more

    Research Areas: epilepsy, depression, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease

  • David Linden Lab

    The David Linden Laboratory has used both electrode and optical recording in cerebellar slice and culture model systems to explore the molecular requirements for induction and expression of these phenomena. Along the way, we discovered a new form of plasticity. In addition, we have expanded our analysis to include use-dependent synaptic and non-synaptic plasticity in the cerebellar output structure, the deep nuclei.

    Our investigations are central to understanding the cellular substrates of information storage in a brain area where the behavioral relevance of the inputs and outputs is unusually well defined. In addition, our investigations have potential clinical relevance for cerebellar motor disorders and for disorders of learning and memory generally.

    Research Areas: motor learning, synaptic plasticity, neurobiology, memory, cerebellum, brain

    Principal Investigator

    David Linden, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • Healthy Brain Program

    The Brain Health Program is a multidisciplinary team of faculty from the departments of neurology, psychiatry, epidemiology, and radiology lead by Leah Rubin and Jennifer Coughlin. In the hope of revealing new directions for therapies, the group studies molecular biomarkers identified from tissue and brain imaging that are associated with memory problems related to HIV infection, aging, dementia, mental illness and traumatic brain injury. The team seeks to advance policies and practices to optimize brain health in vulnerable populations while destigmatizing these brain disorders.

    Current and future projects include research on: the roles of the stress response, glucocorticoids, and inflammation in conditions that affect memory and the related factors that make people protected or or vulnerable to memory decline; new mobile apps that use iPads to improve our detection of memory deficits; clinical trials looking at short-term effects of low dose hydrocortisone and randomized to 28 day...s of treatment; imaging brain injury and repair in NFL players to guide players and the game; and the role of inflammation in memory deterioration in healthy aging, patients with HIV, and other neurodegenerative conditions. view less

    Research Areas: HIV infection, mental illness, aging, traumatic brain injury, dementia

  • Hey-Kyoung Lee Lab

    The Hey-Kyoung Lee Lab is interested in exploring the cellular and molecular changes that happen at synapses to allow memory storage. We use various techniques, including electrophysiological recording, biochemical and molecular analysis, and imaging, to understand the cellular and molecular changes that happen during synaptic plasticity.

    Currently, we are examining the molecular and cellular mechanisms of global homeostatic synaptic plasticity using sensory cortices as model systems. In particular, we found that loss of vision elicits global changes in excitatory synaptic transmission in the primary visual cortex. Vision loss also triggers specific synaptic changes in other primary sensory cortices, which we postulate underlies sensory compensation in the blind. One of our main research goals is to understand the mechanisms underlying such cross-modal synaptic plasticity.

    We are also interested in elucidating the events that occur in diseased brains. In collaboration with othe...r researchers, we are analyzing various mouse models of Alzheimer's disease, especially focusing on the possible alterations in synaptic plasticity mechanisms.
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    Research Areas: biochemistry, synaptic plasticity, memory, imaging, vision, molecular biology, Alzheimer's disease

    Principal Investigator

    Hey-Kyoung Lee, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • James Knierim Laboratory

    Research in the James Knierim Laboratory attempts to understand the flow of information through the hippocampal formation and the computations performed by the various subfields of the hippocampus and its inputs from the entorhinal cortex. To address these issues, we use multi-electrode arrays to record the extracellular action potentials from scores of well-isolated hippocampal neurons in freely moving rats.

    These neurons, or "place cells," are selectively active when the rat occupies restricted locations in its environment and help to form a cognitive map of the environment. The animal uses this map to navigate efficiently in its environment and to learn and remember important locations. These cells are thought to play a major role in the formation of episodic (autobiographical) memories. Place cells thus constitute a tremendous opportunity to investigate the mechanisms by which the brain transforms sensory input into an internal, cognitive representation of the world and then use...s this representation as the framework that organizes and stores memories of past events. view more

    Research Areas: cognition, place cells, memory, neurophysiology, hippocampus

    Principal Investigator

    James Knierim, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • Paul Worley Lab

    The Paul Worley Lab examines the molecular basis of learning and memory. In particular, we cloned a set of immediate early genes (IEGs) that are rapidly transcribed in neurons involved in information processing, and that are essential for long term memory. IEG proteins can directly modify synapses and provide insight into cellular mechanisms that support synapse-specific plasticity.

    Research Areas: synaptic plasticity, neurons, memory, learning, immediate early genes

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Paul Worley, M.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • Raul Chavez-Valdez Lab

    Dr. Raul Chavez-Valdez is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics with great interest in the mechanisms of delayed injury and repair/regeneration in the developing neonatal brain following injury, specifically following hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (birth asphyxia). He collaborates with Dr. Frances Northington (Pediatrics) and Dr. Lee Martin (Pathology/Neuroscience) in unveiling the importance of programmed necrosis in the setting of brain injury induced by birth asphyxia. He is especially interested in the role of brain derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-4 following birth asphyxia and the changes that may explain the suspected excitatory/ inhibitory (E/I) imbalance particularly in the hippocampus. His work is highly translational since delayed hippocampal injury due to E/I imbalance may explain memory deficits observed despite therapeutic hypothermia in neonates suffering birth asphyxia. All of these aspects of developmental neuroplasticity are the base of ...his Career Development Award (NIH/NINDS-K08 award) and applications to other agencies. Additionally, he is part of multiple clinical efforts as part of the Neuroscience Intensive Care Nursery (NICN). He has been a Sutland-Pakula Endowed Fellow of Neonatal Research since September 2013. view more

    Research Areas: critical care medicine, neonatal, neuroscience, pediatrics, intensive care, pediatric critical care medicine

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Raul Chavez Valdez, M.D.

    Department

    Pediatrics

  • Tsapkini Language Neuromodulation Lab

    We are exploring whether anodal tDCS when administered in combination with spelling, naming, or working memory therapy can improve language performance of PPA and MCI participants at least in the short term more than behavioral therapy alone. We are also investigating whether and how tDCS alters the neuropeptide signature in participants with PPA and MCI. We use proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) to monitor neuropeptide concentrations at the areas of stimulation. We hypothesize that tDCS will stabilize the decline of specific neuropeptides, but only in those areas of the brain where tDCS effectively results in more efficient gains in language compared to language therapy alone (with sham tDCS). Study results may help optimize future intervention in individuals with PPA and MCI by providing treatment alternatives in a neurodegenerative condition with no proven effective treatment. A better understanding of the therapeutic and neuromodulatory effects of tDCS in PPA and MCI w...ill offer insight into ways of impeding neurodegeneration that may improve quality of life for individuals with PPA and MCI and may provide insights into the mechanisms of this treatment for augmenting therapy for stroke as well. view more

    Research Areas: cognitive neuroscience, dementia

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Kyrana Tsapkini, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neurology

  • Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute

    The Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute is dedicated to the study of the neural mechanisms of higher brain functions using modern neurophysiological, anatomical and computational techniques. Our researchers use various approaches to understand information processing and its influence on perception, memory, abstract thought, complex behavior and consciousness. Systems and cognitive laboratories use neurophysiology, brain imaging and psychophysics to develop a quantitative, network-level understanding of cognitive information processing. Other researchers use analytical approaches such as system identification, dimensionality reduction, information theory and network modeling to understand information processing. Other areas of research in the Institute include the study of how visual and tactile information processing leads to perception and understanding of two- and three-dimensional objects. Another focus is on neural processing and recognition of speech and other complex sounds. St...ill other laboratories study neural mechanisms of attention, memory formation, motor learning, decision-making and executive control of behavior. view less

    Research Areas: brain, neurophysiology, consciousness, neuroscience, perception

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Charles Connor, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

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