Individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), dementia, and diverse forms of psychosis, including schizophrenia (ScZ), frequently experience severe memory impairments. Significantly, these conditions often correspond with discernible damage to a crucial brain region: the hippocampal-entorhinal cortex (HPC-EC). Even though these disorders are widespread and have profound impacts, our understanding of how memories are specifically formed, accessed, and retrieved at a systems level is still in its early stages. It's crucial to understand that disruptions in memory formation and retrieval aren't mere neural anomalies; they profoundly affect an individual's daily life.
Addressing this knowledge gap, our cutting-edge research team is dedicated to decoding the complex neural dynamics involved. We are especially interested in the moments of successful memory access and recall during episodic working memory tasks. Our primary goal is to illuminate and decode the intricate interactions within the crucial hippocampal-cortical network. Through such investigations, we aim to lay the groundwork for more effective treatments and a richer understanding of the memory system.
Our current research projects encompass:
1. Conducting in vivo super-large-scale recordings in HPC-MEC-PFC regions during spatial working memory tasks, which will help us understand the neural representation in each region and the interregional communication during successful memory access.
2. Examining the HPC (-EC) dysfunction and onset of abnormal neural oscillations in HPC-EC regions during young adolescence to adult periods focusing on the early phase of ScZ onset.
3. Determining the neural mechanisms responsible for updating acquired memories in the HPC-EC network during spatial navigation.
4. Investigating the initial stages of neural communication failures in the HPC-EC network using AD model animals.