Research focus: The capability to store and consciously recall past experiences is crucial for survival and establishing a coherent sense of reality. This ability in mammals is dependent on the hippocampal formation, which encodes experience through coordinated neuronal activity enabling memory acquisition and recall. Our group is interested in the cellular mechanisms underlying the hippocampal ability to encode experience and memory. Furthermore, we are interested in how stress response impairs such an ability leading to temporary and permanent memory impairment.
We use two-photon optical imaging as well as wide field head mounted miniaturized microscopes to study neuronal structural plasticity and experience representation in the hippocampal CA1 of live mice performing hippocampal-dependent tasks. We also take advantage of molecular and genetic tools to investigate defined synapses and neuronal subpopulations and manipulate activity of defined neuronal populations. Together these tools enable us to investigate the interplay between cellular events and learning in the hippocampal formation going from molecular mechanisms to network-level computation.
GSN students: Ghabiba Weston
2019 - Ulivi AF, Castello-Waldow TP, Weston G, Yan L, Yasuda R, Chen A and Attardo A. A preparation for longitudinal two-photon imaging of dorsal hippocampal CA1 in live mice. Journal of Visualized Experiments.* * In press
2018 - Attardo A*, Lu J, Kawashima T, Okuno H, Fitzgerald JE, Bito H and Schnitzer MJ*. Longterm consolidation of ensemble neural plasticity patterns in hippocampal area CA1. Cell Reports. 2018; 25(3): 640-650 * Co-corresponding authors
2015 - Attardo A*, Fitzgerald JE*, Schnitzer MJ. Impermanence of dendritic spines in live adult CA1 hippocampus. Nature. June 2015:1-17. * Equal contribution
2011 - Barretto RPJ, Ko TH, Jung JC, Wang TJ, Capps G, Waters A, Ziv Y, Attardo A. Recht L and Schnitzer MJ. Time-lapse imaging of disease progression in deep brain areas using fluorescence microendoscopy. Nat Med. 2011;17(2):223-228.