Feindel Brain and Mind Seminar Series: Unraveling the Rhythms of Memory

Monday, April 22, 2024 13:00to14:00
Montreal Neurological Institute De Grandpre Communications Centre, 3801 rue University, Montreal, QC, H3A 2B4, CA

The Feindel Brain and Mind Seminar Series will advance the vision of Dr. William Feindel (1918–2014), Former Director of the Neuro (1972–1984), to constantly bridge the clinical and research realms. The talks will highlight the latest advances and discoveries in neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, and neuroimaging.

Speakers will include scientists from across The Neuro, as well as colleagues and collaborators locally and from around the world. The series is intended to provide a virtual forum for scientists and trainees to continue to foster interdisciplinary exchanges on the mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment of brain and cognitive disorders.

Registration here

Stream via Vimeo here

Katherine Duncan

Canada Research Chair, Memory Modulation, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Canada

Host: boris.bernhardt [at] mcgill.ca (Boris Bernhardt)

Abstract: When are you best prepared to learn? Our intuition points to slowly changing factors, like having a good night’s sleep or a cup of coffee. Remarkably, an influential factor may operate so quickly that it eludes our conscious reflections and psychological investigation—the hippocampal theta rhythm. We know that this rhythm matters for the brain; at different phases of theta, rodent hippocampal neurons receive input from different sources and tend to strengthen vs. weaken their connections. But, do people's memory abilities also depend on the phase of these rhythms? I will present my lab's first attempts to answer this question. First, doubling down on behavior, I'll present our adaptation of the behavioral oscillation paradigm popularly used to study the rhythms of attention. With it, we can reconstruct the time course of how equipped people are to form memories. We do this with millisecond precision following an oscillatory resetting stimulus (attention-grabbing cue). Second, I will present our approach to targeting specific hippocampal theta phases with deep-brain stimulation to assess their causal involvement in memory formation. Together, this work shows that memory processes aren't always on, ready to capture or relive experiences. Instead, they paint memory as a rhythmic process with its outcomes at the whim of its beat.

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