BMI SEMINAR - Webinar // Matthew Larkum: Neocortical layer 1 – the memory layer?
Arguably one of the biggest mysteries in neuroscience is how the brain stores long-term memories. The major challenge for investigating the neural circuit underlying memory formation in the neocortex is the distributed nature of the resulting memory trace throughout the cortex. Here, we used a new behavioral paradigm that enabled us to generate memory traces in a specific cortical location and to specifically examine the mechanisms of memory formation in that region. We found that medial-temporal inputs arrive in neocortical layer 1 where the apical dendrites of cortical pyramidal neurons predominate. These dendrites have active properties that make them sensitive to contextual inputs from other areas that also send axons to layer 1 around the cortex. Blocking the influence of these medial-temporal inputs prevented learning and suppressed resulting dendritic activity. We conclude that layer 1 is the locus for hippocampal-dependent memory formation in the neocortex and propose that this process enhances the sensitivity of the tuft dendrites to contextual inputs.
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- SV BMI Host: C. Petersen