The hippocampus is one of the few brain areas in which new neurons form throughout adulthood. Adult-born neurons are thought to improve spatial memory—the ability to discriminate between similar but distinct places—but it’s not clear how.
J. Tiago Goncalves, Ph.D., has received a five-year, $2.1 million National Institutes of Health grant to test his hypothesis that adult-born neurons improve spatial memory by regulating the precision of brain circuits that encode spatial location. After manipulating neurogenesis in the hippocampus of mice, he and his colleagues will use 2-photon microscopy to image neural activity in that brain region. One research goal is to see if enhancing rates of adult neurogenesis increases spatial information. Insights into how adult neurogenesis improves cognition could reveal new therapeutic targets for treating dementia and other memory disorders.
Dr. Goncalves is an assistant professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience at Einstein. (1R01NS125252-01A1)
Posted on: Wednesday, July 13, 2022