Memories Gone Viral

Jason Sheperd, PhD, Neurobiology

How do the cells in your brain store memories? At the molecular level (yeah, molecular) it is thought that neurons store information through the 1000’s of connections, or synapses, that make up specific patterns for each memory. Dr. Sheperd and his team found that a gene, called Arc, is essential for memory in mice. Surprisingly, this gene seems to act and look like a virus! The evolution of complex cognition may have had some help from viruses that infected an ancient ancestor.   Intrigued? Come listen to Dr. Sheperd discuss his work! And bring your questions.   If you want to learn more visit his website  http://shepherdlab.org/  and read one of his latest publications, "Arc: building a bridge from viruses to memory". (Message us for help accessing publications.)

How do the cells in your brain store memories? At the molecular level (yeah, molecular) it is thought that neurons store information through the 1000’s of connections, or synapses, that make up specific patterns for each memory. Dr. Sheperd and his team found that a gene, called Arc, is essential for memory in mice. Surprisingly, this gene seems to act and look like a virus! The evolution of complex cognition may have had some help from viruses that infected an ancient ancestor.

Intrigued? Come listen to Dr. Sheperd discuss his work! And bring your questions.

If you want to learn more visit his website http://shepherdlab.org/ and read one of his latest publications, "Arc: building a bridge from viruses to memory". (Message us for help accessing publications.)

Scientist costume contest

In edition to an informative neuroscience talk, we had a scientist themed costume contest.

Elena as Marie Curie, Audrey as Barbra McClintock, Sky as Hedy Lamarr.