Large Scale Neural Circuit Dynamics Underlying Learning and Memory
Of all the amazing feats our brains perform, our ability to form, store, and retrieve memories stands out as one of the most fascinating, and challenging areas of neuroscience study. Despite the complexity, scientists have made significant inroads into understanding how many of the molecular and synaptic pieces of the puzzle fit together. However, we still have much to learn about the network properties of long-term memory. How can we gain insight into this neuronal communication network?
Our Scientific Co-Founder, Professor Mark Schnitzer, recently gave a talk at The Brain Forum in which he showed data capturing large-scale neural dynamics in the brains of mice as they learned to code their place in space. He used real-time calcium imaging in behaving animals, and talked about our nVista technology, which is essentially a way of visualizing the activity of ~1,000 neurons simultaneously by placing a miniature microscope into an animal brain. This tech gave him insight into neural dynamics and large-scale neural codes underlying learning and memory of place fields.
A major advantage of our nVista technology is that it allowed him to visualize network dynamics in deep brain areas, such as the hippocampus, a key area for learning and memory. Moreover, he was able to follow the behavior of a freely moving animal over time.
For more, watch his video from The Brain Forum. It's only about fifteen minutes long.