Haam Lab is interested in understanding the mechanism of memory formation processes. Memory consolidation is one of the two major memory formation processes and is responsible for forming long-term memories in the neocortex from the initially encoded hippocampal memories. The consolidation processes predominantly occurs during sleep when the hippocampus communicates with the neocortex to send newly encoded memories that formed during waking. Neuronal activities during sleep in these brain regions are indicated in memory consolidation, but the underlying mechanism is mostly unknown. Using a variety of recording approaches and behavioral studies, Haam Lab aims to investigate neural circuits responsible for memory consolidation and how these circuits are altered by chronic stress, disrupted metabolism, and aging.
Measuring Synaptic Activities Using Electrophysiology
Electrophysiological recordings allow us to examine changes in synaptic and firing activities of neurons that play a critical role in memory formation processes.
Monitoring Neuronal Activities in Freely Moving Animals
In vivo recordings using genetically-expressed calcium indicators (GECIs) allow us to measure activities of a specific neuronal group in freely moving animals.
We use optogenetics and chemogenetics along with in vivo recordings to manipulate a specific set of neurons. In this figure, we inhibited cholinergic neurons optogenetically to examine how it affects the deep layer entorhinal cortical neurons.
Studying Behavioral Phenotypes
Rodent behavioral studies allow us to measure cognitive functions. With optogenetic, chemogenetic, and pharmacological approaches, we dissect neural circuits involved in specific memory formation processes.
We use automated behavioral tracking to quantify behaviroal data.