Thursday, March 20, 2014

[Comp-neuro] Frontiers Research Topic: Memory Processes in Medial Temporal Lobe: Experimental, Theoretical and Computational Approaches

Dear colleagues,

we would like to inform you that our Research Topic organized with Frontiers in Neuroscience (Host Specialty: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience) is still open and it will be accepting abstracts till May 1st, 2014

Our Research Topic is entitled:

"Memory Processes in Medial Temporal Lobe: Experimental, Theoretical and Computational Approaches"

Topic Editors: Motoharu Yoshida (University of Bochum) and Vassilis Cutsuridis (Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH))

Important deadlines
Abstract Submission Deadline: May 1st, 2014

Article Submission Deadline: August 1st, 2014

Research Topic Description 
The medial temporal lobe (MTL) includes the hippocampus, amygdala and parahippocampal regions, and is crucial for episodic and spatial memory. MTL memory function consists of distinct processes such as encoding, consolidation and retrieval. Encoding is the process by which perceived information is transformed into a memory trace. After encoding, memory traces are stabilized by consolidation. Memory retrieval (recall) refers to the process by which memory traces are reactivated to access information previously encoded and stored in the brain. Although underlying neural mechanisms supporting these distinct functional stages remain largely unknown, recent studies have indicated that distinct oscillatory dynamics, specific neuron types, synaptic plasticity and neuromodulation, play a central role. The theta rhythm is believed to be crucial in the encoding and retrieval of memories. Experimental and computational studies indicate that precise timing of principal cell firing in the hippocampus, relative to the theta rhythm, underlies encoding and retrieval processes. On the other hand, sharp-wave ripples have been implicated in the consolidation through the “replay” of memories in compressed time scales. 

The neural circuits and cell types supporting memory processes in the MTL areas have only recently been delineated using experimental approaches such as optogenetics, juxtacellular recordings and optical imaging. Principal (excitatory) cells are crucial for encoding, storing and retrieving memories at the cellular level, whereas inhibitory interneurons provide the temporal structures for orchestrating the activities of neuronal populations of principal cells by regulating synaptic integration and timing of action potential generation of principal cells as well as the generation and maintenance of network oscillations (rhythms). In addition, neuromodulators such as acetylcholine alter dynamical properties of neurons and synapses, and modulate oscillatory state and rules of synaptic plasticity and their levels might tune MTL to specific memory processes.

The goal of the research topic is to offer a snapshot of the current stateof-the-art on how memories are encoded, consolidated, stored and retrieved in MTL structures. Particularly welcome will be studies (experimental or computational) focusing on the structure and function of neural circuits, their cellular components (principal cell and inhibitory interneurons), synaptic plasticity rules involved in these memory processes, network oscillations such as theta and sharp-wave ripples, 
and role of neuromodulators. 

Questions to be addressed: 

(1) Which areas or pathways within the MTL support encoding/consolidation/retrieval? 
(2) What neural activity defines specific memory processes? 
(3) What are the roles of neuromodulators in defining/switching these memory processes? 
(4) Could the role of synaptic plasticity be different in different memory processes? 
(5) What functional roles do the various inhibitory interneurons support during the encoding/consolidation/retrieval processes?

About Frontiers Research Topics
Frontiers Research Topics are designed to be an organized, encyclopedic coverage of a particular research area, and a forum for discussion and debate. Contributions can be of different article types (Original Research, Methods, Hypothesis & Theory, and others).

Our Research Topic has a dedicated homepage on the Frontiers website, where contributing articles are accumulated and discussions can be easily held. Once all articles are published, the topic will be compiled into an e-book, which can be sent to foundations that fund your research, to journalists and press agencies, and to any number of other organizations. As the ultimate reference source from leading scientists, Frontiers Research Topic articles become highly cited.

Frontiers is a Swiss-based, open access publisher. As such an article accepted for publication incurs a publishing fee, which varies depending on the article type. The publishing fee for accepted articles is below average compared to most other open access journals - and lower than subscription-based journals that apply page and color figure charges. Moreover, for Research Topic articles, the publishing fee is discounted quite steeply thanks to the support of the Frontiers Research Foundation.
Details on Frontiers’ fees can be found at

When published, your article will be freely available to visitors to the Frontiers site, and will be indexed in PubMed and other academic archives. As an author in Frontiers, you will retain the copyright to your own paper and all figures.

The details regarding this Research Topic for Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience can be found at the following URL:

Should you choose to participate, please confirm by sending a quick email and then your abstract using the following link:

Thanks in advance for your interest!

Vassilis Cutsuridis and Motoharu Yoshida

Vassilis Cutsuridis, PhD
Heraklion, Crete

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