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Anna K. Gillespie, Ph.D.
November 28 @ 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.Free
Steps toward exploring the therapeutic potential of hippocampal replay
Join the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (CNLM) for a hybrid event featuring Dr. Anna Gillespie, assistant professor of biological structure, lab medicine, and pathology at University of Washington. This event will be held in-person in the Herklotz Conference Center and virtually via Zoom.
Executing memory-guided behavior requires storage of information about experience and later recall of that information to inform choices. Hippocampal sharp-wave ripple (SWR) events are associated with the time-compressed “replay” of representations of past experience, and multiple correlative and causal studies have demonstrated that SWRs critically contribute to these cognitive functions. Consistent with its role in memory processes, changes in SWRs have been reported concurrent with memory impairment in several rodent models of Alzheimer’s disease. Rescuing replay in Alzheimer’s could thus improve memory symptoms; however, our current options for promoting physiologically relevant replay are quite limited. To address this gap, we developed a neurofeedback paradigm for rats in which the real-time detection of SWRs triggers the delivery of positive reinforcement (food reward). In young adult animals, this training protocol increased the prevalence of task-relevant replay during the targeted neurofeedback period by changing the temporal dynamics of SWR occurrence, and was also associated with neural and behavioral forms of compensation after the targeted period. This work demonstrates that subjects can learn to use neurofeedback to modulate physiologically relevant patterns of hippocampal network activity and lays the foundation for future work in subjects with compromised replay, such as rodent models of Alzheimer’s disease.