J. Bevandic (Juraj)
PhD candidate - Donders Centre for Neuroscience - Neurobiology
PhD candidate - Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
The importance of memory in our daily life could hardly be overstated. Yet, we all spend a substantial period of our lives without the ability to memorise and remember. For example, what is the earliest memory you remember? According to the phenomenon of infantile amnesia, your earliest memory is unlikely to be an experience before 2-4 years of age. I seek to understand why memory as a cognitive capacity does not emerge until then.
Working in Freyja Ólafsdóttir's lab, I use chronic in-vivo freely moving electrophysiology in early post-natal rat pups (2-4 weeks of age). The goal of my research is to identify and investigate the neural mechanisms of spatial memory development before and during its maturation.
In particular, I combine place cell (hippocampal) and grid cell (cortical) single-unit recordings and local field potential with behavioural assays of memory. Furthermore, I aim to identify the neural mechanisms underlying hippocampal-cortical synchronisation and investigate the ways they interact in order to facilitate the emergence of memory. Finally, I employ perturbation techniques such as chemo- and optogenetics in order to determine the causality of fundamental preconditions for the initial emergence of memory.
Identifying the necessary preconditions for emergence of memory will deepen our understanding of mature memory both in function and failure. Beyond research implications, the knowledge of preconditions for healthy maturation of memory may be important to any symptoms related to memory impairments.