How sensory and memory information are encoded in the brain, Kamron Soldozy, UG '22 (3965318)
Imagine trying to catch a ball. Combining the position of the ball now with where it was a moment ago allows you to make a prediction of where the ball will be, a crucial piece of information for a successful catch. Using mice as a model organism, I investigate how a population of neurons can flexibly represent sensory and memory information at the same time, without confusing them for each other. I demonstrate that one method of organizing neural information is through timing, such that sensory and memory information are represented in non-overlapping windows. In addition to generating predictions, I also demonstrate that expectations can cause postdictions: that is, memories can even be overwritten based on what is seen in the present. Crucially, to cure neurological disorders like Alzheimer's Disease, it is important to first understand the mechanisms underlying memory encoding and, more broadly, how the brain organizes itself.