We use short-term memories everyday, for example when we want to engage in a meaningful conversation or have to keep track of completed and uncompleted tasks. In my project here in the Kloosterman lab I want to investigate the neural mechanisms that mediate the every day creation and usage of these short-term memories. Because people with hippocampal (HC) pathologies, such as Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia, have a strongly impaired short-term memory, I focus on neural activity in the hippocampus.
Over the years, correlative evidence from both rodent and primate research has been bundled to build a model for the neural mechanism by which the hippocampus could mediate short-term memory. However, to validate this model we need evidence showing a direct causal relation between HC activity and behavior. Closed-loop technology developed in the lab allows to record, analyze and interact with neural activity in real time. I use a combination of electrical and optogenetic techniques to record and interact with HC activity in freely moving rats. The rats are trained on a short-term memory task and the closed-loop interactions will allow a direct readout of a tentative causal link between HC activity and short-term memory.
|since 2019||FWO PhD fellow fundamental research|
|July 2019||CAJAL Advanced Neuroscience Training 'Interacting with neural circuits'|
|2018||Start PhD at NERF|
|2018||Master in Biophysics, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, KU Leuven|
|2017||Bachelor in physics, KU Leuven|