"Probing the synaptic plasticity theory of memory": new SISSA colloquium on 24 November

“Probing the synaptic plasticity theory of memory: a new experimental strategy” is the title of the new SISSA colloquium which will take place on Wednesday 24 November starting from 4.00 pm. The webinar will be given by Prof. Antonino Cattaneo from Scuola Normale Superiore and Levi-Montalcini European Brain Research Institute.

This is how Prof. Cattaneo introduces his seminar:

“It is widely assumed that long term changes in the efficacy of synaptic connections (synaptic plasticity) underlie learning and memory in the brain. The synaptic plasticity and memory hypothesis states that activity-dependent synaptic plasticity is induced at appropriate synapses during memory formation and that it is both necessary and sufficient for the information storage and recall of that memory. Yet, despite decades of correlative evidence, causally linking these synaptic weight changes to the storage and the recall of a given memory has proven elusive. One reason is that there is an experimental gap in the spatial scale at which the memory traces (engrams) in the brain can be identified and manipulated. Thus, current experimental approaches allow successfully studying memory engrams at the spatial scale of the whole neuron. I will describe a new strategy that overcomes this gap and allows genetically tagging individual synapses after learning-induced synaptic long-term potentiation. I will discuss how this new strategy is being exploited to probe the synaptic plasticity theory of memory, studying synaptic engrams in physiological and pathological conditions.”

Prof. Cattaneo was Full Professor of Biophysics SISSA, where as Head of the Biophysics Sector and Deputy Director he was involved in setting up from scratch SISSA Neuroscience Program. From 2004 he assisted Rita Levi-Montalcini in launching the European Brain Research Institute, for which he served as the Scientific Director, before joyning Scuola Normale Superiore in 2009. He is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and of the Accademia delle Scienze dei XL, has been a Visiting Fellow at Trinity College (University of Cambridge, UK) and has received many international awards for his research. 

Details  for joining the webinar will follow.