Answering the mistery of memory
In 1953, a young man, later became known as a patient HM, underwent an experimental surgery to bilaterally remove hippocampi as treatment of the intractable epilepsy. Fortunately, HM's epilepsy became controllable but now he had another problem. While he could still recall his old memories, he could not memorize anything new. From the studies on the symptoms HM exhibited, we now know that hippocampus is the site where a memory is initially formed but not stored for long-term. But we still do not know the detailed mechanism by which memory is encoded in hippocampus, transferred to the rest of the brain, and recalled. This is one of oldest and most profound questions left for mankind.
In our laboratory, we approach this question from multiple levels of studies from molecules to animal behavior:
- Protein Trafficking and Long-term Potentiation
- Liquid-liquid phase separation and synaptic plasticity
- Molecular Mechanisms of Structural Plasticity of Dendritic Spines
- Dynamic Behavior of Cellular Memory Engram
- September 7, 2022: A new review on CaMKII is published in Nature Review in Neuroscience.
- November 12, 2021: A work by Akihiro Goto (assistant professor) was published in Science. For details, please check "Erasing memory with light -Understanding why sleep is necessary for good memory-".
- April 29, 2021: A work by Tomohisa Hosokawa (former postdoc) and Pinwu Liu (former graduate student) was published in Nature Neuroscience. For details, please check "An oil-water relationship explains memory formation - A new protein segregation mechanism in the brain".