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Kei Igarashi, Ph.D.

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Kei Igarashi, Ph.D.

February 14, 2023 @ 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


Circuit mechanisms of associative memory in health and Alzheimer’s disease

CNLM Colloquium UCI Spotlight Series

Join the CNLM in a hybrid colloquium featuring Dr. Kei Igarashi, Associate Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at UC Irvine.


Mounting evidence shows that dopamine in the striatum is critically involved in reward-based reinforcement learning. However, it remains unclear how dopamine reward signals influence the entorhinal-hippocampal circuit, another brain network critical for learning and memory. Using in vivo optogenetic and electrophysiological approaches, we recently found that dopamine signals from the ventral tegmental area control encoding of cue-reward association rules in the lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) (Lee et al., Nature, 2021). Our results suggest that LEC represent a cognitive map of abstract task rules, and LEC dopamine facilitates the incorporation of new memories into this map. I would like to discuss how we can unify the roles of two central, but previously independent, players in learning – dopamine and the entorhinal-hippocampal circuit – in future studies. In the second part of the talk, I will share our results on how neuronal activities in the entorhinal-hippocampal memory circuit are lost in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease (Jun et al., Neuron, 2020), and discuss how the systems neuroscience approach can contribute to the understanding of Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis.

This event will be held in-person in the Herklotz Conference Center and virtually via Zoom.

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February 14, 2023
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Host Organization

UCI Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
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