Academy of Finland
Funding decision
Name Nokia, Miriam
Organisation JY
Project title Hippocampal oscillations and associative learning: Stepping out of the maze and exploring new waves
Decision No. 275954
Decision date 25.04.2014
Funding period 01.09.2014 - 31.08.2019
Funding 434 485
WebFOCUS Report
Project description
Hippocampus is undoubtedly the brain structure most involved in learning and memory. Yet, research has been focused on only a limited set of phenomena: It is currently hypothesized that hippocampal oscillations called theta (~6 Hz) are responsible for encoding information whereas ripples (~200 Hz) are the means of long-term memory consolidation. However, evidence is limited and contradictory. Here, the role of both hippocampal theta and ripples in learning are investigated using a model of associative learning called eyeblink classical conditioning. In addition, the role of hippocampal dentate spikes, a phenomenon overlooked for the past 15 years, is examined. The aim is to identify moments in time when the brain most efficiently encodes information as well as to elucidate the systems level mechanisms of memory consolidation. Eventually, the results obtained can be tested in humans and ultimately applied to optimize learning in both healthy and diseased brains.