Andrea Moreno granted DKK 2.1 million (3 years) by Lundbeck Foundation to investigate the neural basis of forgetting and synaptic depression.
The name of the project is: "Targeting forgetting and memory erasure using optogenetic, behavioural, electrophysiological and pharmacological approaches. A basic and translational study".
The project is focused on the study of forgetting: its underlying mechanisms, and the use of LTD for artificial memory erasure. Two hypotheses will be tested in an animal model using optogenetic viral approaces combined with pharmacological inactivation of transmembrane channel (NMDARs) to target brain circuits related to memory: the amygdala and the hippocampus - accounting for fear and contextual memory.
First, it will be tested whether LTD is the substrate of natural forgetting; second, it will be tested whether LTD induction can be used as an artificial memory erasure paradigm.
The project aims to provide insights into the mechanisms of natural forgetting, and the possibility of erasing existing memories by targeting them with synapse-specificity, without damaging the network’s resting state activity.