Learning and Memory 2018

The Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (CNLM) held it’s 35th annual International Conference on Learning and Memory in mid-April 2018 during which Dr. Bruce L. McNaughton spoke regarding his continuing work on identifying and characterizing patterns supporting memory in the hippocampus.

Dr. McNaughton speaks at CNLM 2018 International Conference.

His talk may be found here or directly on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/_zRpqOyej6M

Ivan Skelin publishes review with Scott Kilianski and Bruce McNaughton

McNaughton lab Postdoc Ivan Skelin publishes a review in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (13 April 2018) with graduate student Scott Kilianski and Principal Investigator Bruce McNaughton titled ‘Hippocampal coupling with cortical and subcortical structures in the context of memory consolidation’.

Please find the paper published online here or in PDF NLM Review 2018.

Let’s offer Ivan and Scott congratulations on this new publication!

Stanford Colloquium

Dr. McNaughton at the Stanford Colloquium

Dr. Bruce McNaughton gave a talk at Stanford University Psychology Colloquium on October 18, 2017 where he discussed the ‘index code’ generated by hippocampus and used in cortical areas of the brain to consolidate and ‘archive’ episodic memory.

You may find more information about Dr. McNaughton’s talk and Stanford’s Psychology Colloquium series here.

Neuron Publication

McNaughton lab postdoc Dr. Ivan Skelin and Florida State University Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Dr. Aaron Wilber have published their recent work titled “Laminar Organization of Encoding and Memory Reactivation in the Parietal Cortex” in the prestigious journal Neuron‘s September 13, 2017 edition. There is also a short radio clip from a Bob Hirshon interview with Science Update.

Template match percentage increases with 4x compression in observed multi-unit activity (MUAs).

See the template matching summary figure at this link.

Let’s congratulate Dr. Skelin and Wilber on their groundbreaking research!

More information about Dr. Wilber at Florida State may be found here and more information regarding Dr. Skelin’s work as part of the McNaughton lab team may be found here.

A link to the full text online version may be found here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2017.08.033

Undergraduate Students Present Research at UROP Symposium

On Saturday May 20, 2017, Fjolla Muqolli and Chris Sahagian presented their work from the past school year at a research symposium for undergraduates conducting research in laboratories (UROP) at UCI. Their work, as mentioned in a previous post, received grant funds to be used for research materials in support of their projects.

Fjolla Muqolli – using miniscope to image hippocampal and cortical neurons engaged in facilitating multisensory object processing in Alzheimer’s Disease model

UCI Undergraduate Research Symposium poster presentation

Link to PDF of Fjolla’s poster

Christopher Sahagian – using classical eyeblink conditioning to study memory index theory of semantic knowledge acquisition and maintenance

UCI Undergraduate Research Symposium poster presentation

Link to PDF of Chris’s poster

Let’s congratulate our undergraduates on a successful year full of many achievements in the McNaughton lab!

Radial Arm Maze Complete

We’ve finished work on creating an insertable radial arm maze setup for our existing circle maze. It is has polycarbonate construction with stainless steel fittings that lock into the circumferential wall. All eight arms have guillotine doors for training and behavior shaping. The walls and doors can be easily removed in minutes to allow for a totally open circle maze or,
with a black polycarbonate insert, a ‘ZERO’ maze.

Overview of radial arm maze setup


Close up of door and fittings


The tops are open and continuous so nothing will catch on the electrophys data cable from the commutator above.

View from commutator


Next we will be building an automatic liquid feeder-reward system!

Students Receive UROP Award

Undergraduate students Fjolla Muqolli and Chris Sahagian, working under the supervision of Project Scientist Dr. Soyun Kim, were each appointed UROP Fellows for 2016-2017 and received $500 awards from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) for their project proposals. They will be presenting their work in poster presentation symposium later this Spring. A brief description of their work follows:

Multisensory Object Processing in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease
Fjolla Muqolli's project utilizes a miniature fluorescence microscope to collect functional images of neurons from naive and transgenic mouse brain regions during an object recognition (memory recall) task. This task includes the animal choosing the correct path to receive a reward in a configurable Y-maze after having been presented with a novel object to explore in both tactile and visual paradigms, separately and together (cross-modal). It is expected the transgenics, having a phenotype mimicking late-stage Alzheimer's disease, will perform poorly on cross-modal tasks and display attenuated perirhinal cortex activity versus spontaneous object recognition.

Neocortical Stimulation and classical eye-blink conditioning: A Study of the Memory Index Theory
Chris Sahagian's project consists of training a transgenic mouse to perform a walking task in a virtual reality environment (simulated through use of touchpad displays) during a classical conditioning paradigm. During the task, select neurons are stimulated in the animal's brain using a specific wavelength of light, and behavior changes are observed.

These awards will be used in support of the Miniscope project the McNaughton is working on using the open-source UCLA-developed Miniscope (www.miniscope.org). Congratulations to our hard-working undergraduate researchers!

Fjolla Muqolli

Fjolla Muqolli


Chris Sahagian final

Chris Sahagian


The written proposals for UROP award may be found below. Both undergraduates are supervised by Dr. Soyun Kim.

UROP Muqolli

UROP Sahagian