Institute of Neuroscience Faculty
Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychology
B.A. 1988, New College
Ph.D. 1996, New York University Medical Center
Cellular and molecular basis of memory.
What changes in your brain when you learn something? Lesion studies have determined that a highly conserved structure called the hippocampus is required for memory acquisition in mammals, including humans. My laboratory is interested in how neurons in the hippocampus and related brain areas reflect experience. We use two distinct but complementary approaches to this goal: 1) recording neurons from awake, behaving rodents; and 2) generating genetically-modified mice capable of expressing transgenes in particular neuronal cell types relevant to learning and memory. Combining the former with the latter enables the neural analog of the approach used by engineers to investigate electrical circuits: basically, one records from one circuit element (i.e. neuronal cell type) while manipulating the activity of others. In this way we can explore the transformation of information through the circuitry underlying learning and memory.
Kentros, C. G. (2006). "Hippocampal place cells: the "where" of episodic memory?" Hippocampus 16(9): 743-75
Kentros, C., Agnihotri, N.T., Streater, S., Hawkins, R.D., and Kandel, E.R. (2004) Increased attention to spatial context increases both place field stability and spatial memory. Neuron v.42 (2): 283-95, April 22
Agnihotri, N.T., Hawkins R.D., Kandel, E.R., and Kentros, C. (2004) The long-term stability of new hippocampal place fields requires new protein synthesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 101(10): 3656-61, Mar 9
Kentros, C., Hargreaves, E., Hawkins, R.D., Kandel, E.R., Shapiro, M., and Muller, R.U. (1998) Abolition of long-term stability of new hippocampal place cell maps by NMDA receptor blockade. Science; 280(5372): 2121-6, Jun 26