The neural substrates of familiarity and event memory

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Sch of Psychology

Abstract

In addition to publishing their findings in international journals the applicants have published a number of books since 1998. These include; The Amygdala (Aggleton, OUP, 2000), Episodic Memory (Baddeley, Conway & Aggleton, OUP, 2002). Over the period of the Programme Grant Aggleton has discussed aspects of memory on the television (BBC Tomorrow?s World) and radio (including, Radio 4 Today, Radio 5, Radio Wales). Pearce has discussed his work on Radio 4 and BBC (TV) Wales. His research on discrimination learning was the subject of a full page article in THES. Applicants have also been active in organising international meetings that promote the spread of scientific information. Pearce organizes the annual Associative Learning Symposium (at Gregynog, Mid Wales). Brown & Bashir organised an international FENS Satellite Symposium on Synaptic Plasticity: A Systems Viewpoint, Bristol (2002). In 2001 Aggleton was a co-organiser of a Royal Society two-day meeting dedicated to the topic of episodic Memory. In 2003 Aggleton will give a series of all-day open seminars in different venues around the UK, devoted to the topic of memory and memory disorders. Bashir has also been actively involved in promoting science by running a neuroscience open day at Bristol for local secondary schools and by visiting local Bristol primary schools to talk about and give demonstrations on nerves and the brain. Bashir is also part of the UK Life science speakers, launched recently at the 2002 BA festival.

Technical Summary

The proposed programme is designed to elucidate the neural substrates of recognition memory and episodic memory. The work is a direct development from the Applicants? previous work, and will provide new tests of their published model concerning the differing neural substrates of event memory and the familiarity discrimination component of recognition memory. The proposed experiments will examine issues crucial to the understanding of these types of memory using a very broad range of techniques that span from the behavioural level, including the development of new behavioural tests based on insights from learning theory, through systems level measures of the influence of lesions and pharmacological manipulations on neural activity (measured both electrophysiologically and through immunocytochemical imaging), to investigations at the cellular level of measures of synaptic transmission and plasticity. The analysis will focus on the operation both of interconnected systems of brain structures and of synaptic interactions at the local circuit level. In particular, questions will be addressed concerning the specific contributions (at behavioural, systems and neuronal levels) of different brain regions within both the hippocampal-medial diencephalic system for event memory and the perirhinal centred system for familiarity discrimination. For example, what are roles of the thalamic nuclei compared to the cortical regions? What are the neural substrates of the ?where?? and ?when? components of event memory? Do mechanisms involved in long-term depression underlie perirhinal familiarity discrimination? Answers to such questions will enable the existing model to be developed, with the object of better understanding the basis of anterograde amnesia and normal memory.

Publications

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Aggleton JP (2005) Contrasting hippocampal and perirhinal cortex function using immediate early gene imaging. in The Quarterly journal of experimental psychology. B, Comparative and physiological psychology

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Aggleton JP (2011) Lesions in the anterior thalamic nuclei of rats do not disrupt acquisition of stimulus sequence learning. in Quarterly journal of experimental psychology (2006)

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Aggleton JP (2008) EPS Mid-Career Award 2006. Understanding anterograde amnesia: disconnections and hidden lesions. in Quarterly journal of experimental psychology (2006)

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Aggleton JP (2007) Structural learning and the hippocampus. in Hippocampus

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Aggleton JP (2006) Interleaving brain systems for episodic and recognition memory. in Trends in cognitive sciences

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Barker GR (2006) The different effects on recognition memory of perirhinal kainate and NMDA glutamate receptor antagonism: implications for underlying plasticity mechanisms. in The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

 
Description Wellcome Trust Programme Grant (Interleaving brain systems for recognition and episodic memory)
Amount £1,569,168 (GBP)
Funding ID 087855 
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2009 
End 08/2014
 
Title Behavoiural methods 
Description Various new behavoiural techniques have been developed as an integral part of this grant. These include: new analyses of geometric learning by rodents and new measures of recognition memory by rodents. 
Type Of Material Model of mechanisms or symptoms - mammalian in vivo 
Year Produced 2009 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact It too early to tell. 
 
Description Cardiff Scientific Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Opportunity to explain research to scientists and nonscientists alike in different fields.

Nothing specific
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007
 
Description Question & Answer session 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation plus discussion to Cardiff Science Cafe

Well attended, lively discussion
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006
 
Description Radio Interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Radio interview for series called Case Studies. The talk was on Rado 4 and hence to a very broad audience.

Nothing specific, but would have raised awareness of value of neuropsychological research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description cafe scientifique, Bristol 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 100 members of public attended.

requests for future such talks
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description press release 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact press release - enquiries received from various sources

request for radio interview and science cafe participation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008