The Connected Hippocampus, 1st Edition | Shane O’Mara, Marian Tsanov | ISBN 9780444635495

The Connected Hippocampus, 1st Edition | Shane O’Mara, Marian Tsanov | ISBN 9780444635495 The purpose of this volume is to encourage researchers to situate the hippocampus as part of a network connected to the rest of the brain and not to consider it in isolation. We therefore present a selection of chapters that concentrate on… Read More

Decoding signal processing in thalamo-hippocampal circuitry: implications for theories of memory and spatial processing

Decoding signal processing in thalamo-hippocampal circuitry: implications for theories of memory and spatial processing Marian Tsanov and Shane M. O’Mara Our latest paper. Highlights • Thalamo-hippocampal projections are vital for episodic memory formation. • There is extensive connectivity between these structures. • We examine the signals processed within this circuitry. • We focus on head… Read More

Acute phase plasma proteins are altered by electroconvulsive stimulation.

Acute phase plasma proteins are altered by electroconvulsive stimulation. J Psychopharmacol. 2014 Sep 29. pii: 0269881114552742. [Epub ahead of print] Glaviano A, O’Donovan SM, Ryan K, O’Mara S, Dunn MJ, McLoughlin DM. Download the paper. Abstract Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective antidepressant treatment, but its molecular mechanisms of action remain to be fully elucidated.… Read More

John O’Keefe being interviewed after his Nobel Prize win

John O’Keefe published his astounding paper (The hippocampus as a spatial map. Preliminary evidence from unit activity in the freely-moving rat) on the discovery of hippocampal place cells in 1971, using behavioural neurophysiological techniques that were difficult to establish and rare in nature. Place cells changed forever what we thought of the hippocampus and temporal lobe, and a vast… Read More

Selective disconnection of the hippocampal formation projections to the mammillary bodies produces only mild deficits on spatial memory tasks: implications for fornix function.

Selective disconnection of the hippocampal formation projections to the mammillary bodies produces only mild deficits on spatial memory tasks: implications for fornix function. Take-home message: the mammillary bodies can  support spatial memory without their dense subicular complex inputs, revealing the importance of the other afferents for sustaining mammillary body function. This new evidence for independent functions… Read More

Resveratrol as an exercise mimetic – direct comparisons with aerobic exercise, and positive effects on cognitive function: Our posters from Society for Neuroscience ’11, ’12, ’13

Aerobic exercise has marked effects on cognitive function, even in an elderly group at risk for  Alzheimer’s disease. Aerobic exercise may not be suitable for certain groups, especially the frail or those at risk of falls. Exercise mimetics may therefore prove an attractive for treatment option the frail, who would benefit from exercise-induced changes in peripheral and central function. The polyphenol, resveratrol, rose to… Read More

How many drug trials for Alzheimer’s disease have failed? Why do so many new therapeutic drugs fail in development?

This topic came up in the context of a conversation with my colleagues in the Science Gallery, who are putting on an exhibition called Fail, which will explore the question: ‘Can we change our perception of failure in order to embrace this essential driver of innovation?’ There have been many failed Alzheimer’s disease drug trials. This is… Read More

Roles for the subiculum in spatial information processing, memory, motivation and the temporal control of behaviour.

Take-home message: The subiculum is in a pivotal position governing the output of the hippocampal formation. Despite this, it is a rather under-explored and sometimes ignored structure. Here, we discuss recent data indicating that the subiculum participates in a wide range of neurocognitive functions and processes. More research required! [Download the paper] Roles for the subiculum… Read More

Impaired capacity for autonoetic reliving during autobiographical event recall in mild Alzheimer’s disease

Take-home message: Autonoesis or ‘Autonoetic consciousness is the human ability to mentally place ourselves in the past, in the future, or in counterfactual situations, and to analyze our own thoughts‘ (wiki). Here, we focus on impairments of autonoesis in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), using the Episodic Autobiographical Memory Interview (EAMI). We find impairments in AD patients with the following pattern: AD [Download the paper]… Read More

Exploring the recollective experience during autobiographical memory retrieval in amnestic mild cognitive impairment.

Take-home message: there are greater levels of autobiographical memory (memory for the episodes and events of your life and general knowledge of the world) impairment in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI: a greater than expected deficit in cognitive function for age and education) seen than previously assumed. More on MCI, which is often thought of as being prodromal for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as a proportion of… Read More