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Professor Mayank Mehta will speak in Cambridge TODAY Thursday 25th October

Who: Professor Mayank Mehta

Title: Space, sleep, brain rhythms and memory

Where: Hodgkin Huxley Seminar Room, Physiology Building, Downing Site (Foster talk)

When: Thursday 25th October, 4pm followed by a wine reception.


Title: "Multimodal contribution to spatial navigation and reward expectation"

Where: Department of Psychology seminar room, (BCNI seminar)

When: Tuesday 23rd October, 1.30pm

Additional information: These are 2 separate seminars.

Abstract: Learning about facts and events, including spatial maps, is thought to occur in two stages. First, the hippocampus is thought to rapidly learn information during behavior and form a memory trace via the NMDA-dependent synaptic plasticity. Then, during subsequent period of sleep this memory trace is thought to be consolidated from the hippocampus to the neocortex. During behavior and sleep, the cortico-hippocampal activity shows distinct rhythms. I will describe our experimental and computational investigations towards understanding this process. For more info, click here.

Research Interests: Mayank Mehta is a Principal Investigator in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Department of Neurology and a member of the Brain Research Institute at UCLA. He is interested in the ‘Theoretical and Experimental Investigations of Learning and Memory’

The mind is thought to be the emergent property of the activities of ensembles of neurons. The nature of these emergent properties and how they arise are unknown. This is the focus of his research. In particular, his current research addresses the following fundamental questions in Neurophysics:

  1. How is information about the physical world represented by ensembles of neurons? In particular, what are the neural mechanisms of perceiving space-time?
  2. How do these neural representations evolve with learning?
  3. What is the role of brain rhythms in learning and memory?
  4. How does sleep influence learning?

To address these questions they use both experimental and theoretical approaches as follows:

  1. Develop hardware to measure and manipulate neural activity and behaviour.
  2. Measure the activity of ensembles of well-isolated neurons from many hippocampal and neocortical areas simultaneously during learning and during sleep.
  3. Develop data analysis tools to decipher the patterns of neural activity and field potentials, and their relationship to behaviour.
  4. Develop biophysical theories of synapses, neurons and neuronal networks that can explain these experimental findings, relate them to the underlying cellular mechanisms, and make experimentally testable predictions.

The results would not only provide fundamental understanding of neural ensemble dynamics but also point to novel ways of treating learning and memory disorders.



Posted on 15/10/2012

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