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Representations of space in the rodent hippocampus

Trainee Achievements

Representations of space in the rodent hippocampus

Anoopum Gupta, an MD/PhD student in the Robotics PhD program at Carnegie Mellon, is using computational techniques to study representations of space and recent experience in the rodent hippocampus. With IGERT funding, Gupta spent five months in the lab of Professor David Redish in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota, learning to do neurophysiological recording in behaving rats.

Gupta learned how to design an experiment, handle and train the rats, surgically implant a multi-electrode "hyperdrive", conduct recording experiments as the rats ran in a maze, and analyze the resulting data. This hands-on training has provided him with deeper insight into experimental neuroscience than could be obtained by simply reading the literature.

Gupta’s experiment studied "sweeps": the rapid replay of past experiences that occurs during hippocampal sharp waves. He has developed a way of quantifying sweeps that will allow more rigorous study of the phenomenon.