Thalamic Spike Dynamics

One of the hallmark oscillations of NREM sleep is the spindle oscillation, which is generated within the thalamus and correlates with sleep-dependent memory improvement. 

​However, the mechanisms by which thalamic cells contribute to the cycle-to-cycle dynamics of spindles are unclear. 

We use extracellular electrophysiology and optogenetics in freely behaving rats to investigate the coordinated activation of thalamic cells and understand their contribution to the generalization and consolidation of episodic memory.​

Coupling of Sleep Oscillations​

 The temporal coupling between NREM sleep oscillations (cortical slow frequency oscillations, thalamocortical spindles, hippocampal ripples), facilitates the integration and generalization of new episodic memories into neocortical networks.​
    We use closed-loop stimulation methods and extracellular electrophysiology to investigate approaches to facilitate sleep oscillations and memory consolidation non-invasively. ​

Sleep Stability

Sleep disruption significantly impacts disease progression and the quality of life for those affected with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and other dementias. In particular, NREM oscillations have emerged as important factors in the accumulation of tau and β-amyloid. Thalamocortical networks have been implicated in the progression of AD, and the thalamus is also linked to sleep stability. ​

   We use pharmacology and behavior to identify approaches to promote sleep stability and memory consolidation.​