Cognitive impairments severely affect quality of life. We are committed to understanding how the brain achieves memory and related cognitive processes. For instance, how do fleeting molecules and dynamic neural codes succeed in converting transient stimuli into lasting internal representations? And how do these internal representations, once formed, continuously re-organize into progressively more stable representations?
In the Rajasethupathy lab, we bridge systems genetics and systems neuroscience to provide unique cross-disciplinary insights into the coordinated, distributed, and dynamic representations of memory. On the one hand, we perform genetic mapping for unbiased discovery of the genes, cell types, and circuits relevant for memory across different time scales. In parallel, we develop and apply technologies to record high resolution neural activity from these relevant circuits and over chronic timescales in the behaving animal. Through a convergence of these approaches, we aim to reveal the molecular, structural, and functional changes governing the evolution of a memory, and ultimately further our understanding of cognitive processes during health and disease.