New information is rarely learned in isolation, instead most of what we experience can be incorporated into previous knowledge networks. However, most rodent laboratory tasks assume the animal to be naive with no previous experience influencing the results, which may be a factor contributing to the current crisis of translational failure when going from the basic lab to human research. Here, we developed a new spatial navigation task, training food locations in a large, gang-way maze the Hex Maze. Analysing both with and across session performance, we can show simple memory effects as well as multiple effects of previous knowledge accelerating both online learning as well as performance increases during offline periods. These effects are reminiscent of both Learning-Set and Schema, two different previous knowledge effects described previously in the literature.
We are currently looking for interesting PhD and PostDoc candidates, preferably with in-vivo electrophysiology and/or data analysis skills. If interested, write to Lisa Genzel with letter of motivation and CV.
Francesco Battaglia and Lisa Genzel receive the 2018 DCN Neurodeveloper fund. With this grant they will collaborate with Noldus Information Technology to develop a closed-loop, automatic sleep deprivation system that will have both an invasive as well as a non-invasive mode.
Our Lisa Genzel has just been awarded a competitive VIDI Grant by the NWO. The Laboratory will soon open 2 positions. Research will aim to investigate the interaction of sleep and novelty in memory consolidation. Electrophysiology and optogenetics will play a key role in understanding the interaction between the Hippocampus and the Prefrontal Cortex. More information here.
M-GATE is a new collaboration funded by a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action of the European Union. We will host 15 talented young researchers in 8 top European institutions for Memory research. The network is coordinated by Francesco Battaglia. In the Memory Dynamics Lab, we will host three PHD positions, co-supervised by Francesco Battaglia and Lisa Genzel. The emphasis will be on hippocampal/cortical communication and oscillations. We seek candidates with a good quantitative background, interested in combining experimental and theoretical approaches.
Please see the M-GATE website for details on the project