Lies Deceuninck

Fk Lies Deceuninck Cropped 300 340 C1
PhD Student

KU Leuven


  • Started at NERF: 01/09/2017

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