Aquitaine Institute for Cognitive and Integrative Neuroscience, CNRS UMR 5287, University of Bordeaux
Friday 28 April, 11am, CRNL amphi
The winding and endless road to systems memory consolidation
Our memories are not acquired instantly. Initially labile, they undergo a gradual process of consolidation via which they acquire stability and persistence. According to the traditional theory of systems consolidation, time-dependent hippocampal-cortical interactions are thought to drive the progressive embedding of memory traces (or engrams) into cortical networks which constitute the final repository of remote memories. Whether enduring memories are simply copied and fixed in the cortex once consolidated or undergo a process of reorganization and transformation which alters their informational content as they mature over time continues to be hotly debated. In illustrating the dynamics of memory formation, I will present a brief overview of experimental studies that provide notable advances in our understanding of memory consolidation. I will then describe some previous and ongoing rodent experiments in my team that shed novel light into some cortical mechanisms underlying the embedding of memory engrams within cortical networks. Finally, I will point to the necessity of updating some accounts of current models of memory consolidation to fully capture the multidimensional experiential factors that constitute a learning experience.