PhD, British Columbia
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2233
Research interests include the functional neuroanatomy of memory systems, and cognitive impairments in a rat model of transient global cerebral ischemia.
My students and I study the contributions of several brain areas to learning and memory. Our main approach is to carefully assess various learning and memory abilities in rats with surgical lesions placed in specific brain areas. A second line of research aims to characterize memory impairments and neuropathology a rat model of global cerebral ischemia.
Assessing the mnemonic effects of focal brain lesions.
The brain areas that currently are of greatest interest to us include the hippocampal formation (CA fields, dentate gyrus, subiculum), the amygdala, the perirhinal cortex, and prefrontal cortical areas. The learning and memory abilities that are of greatest interest to us include object-discrimination learning, object recognition, allocentric spatial memory, context memory, and memory for fearful events. Our long-term goals are to delineate the brain circuitry involved in acquiring, storing, and retrieving these various types of information, and to understand how this information is used to produce adaptive behaviour.
Characterizing memory impairment and neuropathology after transient global ischemia.
Our general strategy is to assess performance on tasks that involve the learning and memory abilities mentioned above, in rats that are subjected to a brief period of global cerebral ischemia. Unique aspects of this work include our focus on nonspatial memory impairments, and extrahippocampal neuropathology, whereas nearly all others working in this area tend to focus on the hippocampus and spatial memory.
Our lab is currently collaborating with Andrew Chapman and his students on an exploration of acute and chronic effects of global ischemia on synaptic function in the perirhinal cortex and the infralimbic cortex. We recently began another collaboration with Shimon Amir's lab, which will examine how disruption of rats' circadian rhythms affects various learning and memory abilities.