BMI Seminar // Jun-Hyeong Cho: Consolidation of remote contextual memory in the neocortical memory engram
Recent studies identified memory engram neurons, a neuronal population that is recruited by initial learning and is reactivated during memory recall. Memory engram neurons are connected to one another through memory engram synapses in a distributed network of brain areas. Our central hypothesis is that an associative memory is encoded and consolidated by selective strengthening of engram synapses. We are testing this hypothesis, using a combination of engram cell labeling, optogenetic/chemogenetic, electrophysiological, and virus tracing approaches in rodent models of contextual fear conditioning. In this talk, I will discuss our findings on how synaptic plasticity in memory engram synapses contributes to the acquisition and consolidation of contextual fear memory in a distributed network of the amygdala, hippocampus, and neocortex.