Place cells, grid cells, border cells and head direction cells are the main spatial cells in the hippocampal formation and provide the basic units for the hippocampal cognitive map. However, their interrelationship and roles they play in navigation are still not well understood.
We are interested in finding the causal relationship between the spatial cells in the hippocampus and parahippocampal formation and their role in navigation. We will record from a large ensemble of neurons and selectively perturb defined interconnected hippocampal circuits while an animal is navigating in the virtual as well as real environments. We will investigate how these perturbations affect an animal's ability to find reward locations.
How do we remember and forget places and events?
How do we remember different places and which ones do we remember best (or not at all)? How do we forget them during the cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease?
We are going to answer these questions by developing new complex behavioural assays and integrate them with neural recordings and targeted neural stimulation.