Killam Seminar Series: "Joining-the-dots" in Memory


Speaker: David Dupret, Ph.D.

Professor of Neuroscience, MRC Investigator, Brain Network Dynamics Unit, University of Oxford, UK

Registration: available now on Eventbrite

Livestreaming via Vimeo: Vimeo

Abstract: The concerted activity of hippocampal neurons supports information processing with relevance to memory. Continually assimilating new information without corrupting previously acquired ones may be a critical operation performed by the hippocampus, allowing this network to nest multiple, co-existing memories. However, memories typically interact. Notably, prior knowledge can proactively influence ongoing learning, and new information can retroactively modify pre-existing memories. In this talk, I will first present recent work investigating some of the neuronal operations that enable to incorporate new experiences in the hippocampus network, segregating them as discrete traces while enabling their interaction. By embedding coactive neurons in mathematical graphs, this work describes that mnemonic information spans multiple operational axes in the mouse hippocampus network. High activity principal cells form the core of each memory along a first axis, segregating spatial contexts and novelty. Low activity cells join coactivity motifs across behavioural events and enable their crosstalk along two other axes. I will then discuss how discrete, co-existing memories can be stitched together beyond direct experience. I will present recent work that leverages from a parallel cross-species approach to characterize the neural computations underlying inferential reasoning in humans and mice. In so doing, I will discuss the idea that the mammalian hippocampus prospectively represents learned associations necessary for inference at the time of choice, to then “join the dots” between memory items that were not directly experienced together but are logically related. Altogether, these findings will notably support the idea that short-timescale coactivity amongst hippocampal neurons act as a primary code that supports memory.

The Killam Seminar Series at The Neuro

Supported by the generosity of the Killam Trusts, The Neuro’s Killam Seminar series hosts outstanding guest speakers whose research is of interest to the scientific community at The Neuro and McGill University.

How to participate via Zoom:

1. You can either join a meeting via the invite link or the Meeting ID #.

2. If you click the link it will automatically bring you to the meeting. If you do not have the link and only the meeting ID go to the Zoom application and click “Join a meeting” where it will prompt you to input your name and the Meeting ID #.

3. Use the toolbar at the bottom of your screen to mute/unmute yourself and to enable/disable your video.

Contact Information

Sasha Kelly
Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital
sasha.kelly [at]
Office Phone: 
Mobile Phone: 
Back to top