What’s in a memory? Spatiotemporal dynamics in strongly coupled recurrent neuronal networks

Year of award: 2018


  • Prof Tim Vogels

    University of Oxford

Project summary

Everything we do involves memories, which are the traces of past experiences in our nervous system. They may be events, faces of friends, or words we speak and recognise. Many such memories require precise and reliable timing – for example to coordinate vocal cords – and they involve thousands of neurons that are connected in complex patterns. New memories are presumably inscribed by changes in these patterns, but it is still unclear how temporal sequences are saved, recalled and flexibly combined. Even the best experimental techniques cannot make sense of the millions of connections that change for any given memory. 

We use computer models to control and systematically explore the effect of every contributing ingredient. We will build biologically realistic models that allow us to compare and calibrate experimental approaches.

Our findings will contribute to a new theory of memory in our mission to understand the brain.