CNS*2020 Online has ended
Welcome to the Sched instance for CNS*2020 Online! Please read the instruction document on detailed information on CNS*2020.
Back To Schedule
Wednesday, July 22 • 7:25pm - 7:55pm
W3 S13: Memory and Instincts As a Continuum of Information Storage

Log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Feedback form is now closed.

Information must be encoded through plasticity of latent biological states in the brain. These learning-induced changes can be referred to as memory ‘engrams’. Recent studies that employ novel molecular methodologies have implicated sparse populations of neurons as engram cells that contribute to the storage of distributed memory engrams. Memory engram technology has provided an unprecedented tool for the labelling and experimental manipulation of specific memory representations in the mouse. Memory engram technology integrates immediate early gene (IEG) labelling techniques with optogenetics to facilitate the activity-dependent tagging and reversible manipulation of components of specific memory engrams. Applying this methodology, experimental studies suggest that while short-term memories may be encoded as transient changes in neuronal excitability, long-term memories are formed by plasticity of microanatomical connectivity between engram cells. But memory is not the only form of information that guides adaptive behaviour, the other form is instinct. While memory and instinct are encoded by very different processes and plasticity mechanisms, the resultant form of instincts and long-term memories may be the same: embedded hard-wired connectivity patterns that store stable informational representation. Both memories and instincts enable the organism to make predictions about its environment, that then change with experience.  We propose that such ensembles can encode evolvable affordances of how animals interpret their environments.


Tomas Ryan

Assistant Professor, Trinity College Dublin

Wednesday July 22, 2020 7:25pm - 7:55pm CEST
Crowdcast (W03)