The fundamental question that my laboratory focuses on is how explicit memories, such as memories of space, are stored and retrieved in the hippocampus. Specifically, we study the variables that affect the stabilization of place cells, hippocampal neurons that fire in particular spatial locations when animals move through an environment. To approach this problem we combine chronic recordings in freely moving mice with behavioral, genetic and pharmacological tools to determine the biophysical and molecular changes associated with memory consolidation.
Research questions of interest:
1. How is memory encoded in different hippocampal regions?
2. What are the molecular pathways that mediate memory consolidation in different hippocampal areas?
3. Do the emotional and attentional states of the animal differentially modulate memory encoding and retrieval?
Psychology Graduate Group; Neuroscience Graduate Group
Levita, L, and Muzzio, I.A. (in press) Effects of restricted dorsal hippocampal lesions on spatial and non-spatial goal directed tasks. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.
Muzzio, I.A., Kentros, C. and Kandel E.R. (2009) What is remembered? Role of attention on the encoding and retrieval of hippocampal representations. Journal of Physiology, 587 (Pt 12), 2837-2854.
Morozov*, A., Muzzio, I.A.*, Bourtchulatze, R., Winder, D., Adams, P., Sweatt, J.D.,Van-Strien, N., Lapidus, K., Yin, D.Q. and Kandel, E.R. (2003). Rap1 couples cAMP signaling to a distinct pool of p42/44MAPK regulating excitability, synaptic plasticity, learning and memory. Neuron, 39, 309-325. (*) Equal contribution
Chen*, A., Muzzio*, I.A., Malleret, G., Bartsch, D., Verbitsky M., Pavlidis P., Yona A.L., Vronskaya S., Grody M.G., Cepeda I., Gilliam C. and Kandel, E.R. (2003). Inducible enhancement of memory storage and synaptic plasticity in transgenic mice expressing a dominant-negative inhibitor of ATF4 (CREB-2) and C/EBP proteins. Neuron, 39, 355-369. (*) Equal contribution
Muzzio, I.A., Levita, L., Kulkarni, J., Monaco, J., Kentros C., Stead, M., Abbott, L., and Kandel, E.R. Attention enhances the retrieval and stability of visuospatial and olfactory representations in the dorsal hippocampus. PloS Biology, 7: e1000140.