Seminar by Prof Mayank Mehta


Monday, 28 August, 2023 - 14:00 to 15:00

We are pleased to announce the seminar of Prof Mayank Mehta (Univ Calif Los Angeles) on Monday August 28 at 2 PM, room 139 

 Title: Place cells are not "Place" cells

 Abstract: The hippocampus is implicated in a wide range of memory disorders including Alzheimer's, which are cured in mice but not in humans. Hippocampal neurons in rodents show robust spatial selectivity. Hence, the standard test of hippocampal function in mice is the Morris Water Maze, an allocentric spatial memory task. However, in freely behaving primates, hippocampal neurons show very little spatial selectivity. Further, hippocampal damage in humans causes profound non-spatial memory deficits too, whose neurophysiological analog in rodents is unclear. We propose a novel theory of hippocampal function which can reconcile these long-standing differences and provide several experimental validations of this new theory. It shows that place cells are not really place cells but multisensory associations. The results point to a novel, unified way to probe hippocampal function across species which could improve Alzheimer's and other memory drug discovery.