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Shane O'Mara 'Systems and cellular analyses of hippocampal formation function'

Abstract :


In this talk, I will present three different aspects of my research work. In the first part of the talk I will present some of the work we have been conducting on analysing the function of the subiculum, a poorly-investigated and poorly-understood component of the hippocampal formation.
I describe our recent model for understanding the possible functions of subiculum and briefly present how this model might be tested. In the second and third part of the talk, I discuss some of our recent and mostly unpublished data showing some unexpected roles of the interferons in synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. Cyclooxygenase (COX) plays a crucial role in neuroinflammation and here, we describe its possible roles in synaptic plasticity and memory; in effect, we are discuss data investigating the interface between synaptic plasticity and inflammation.
Interferon-α (IFN-α), is a low-molecular weight protein with potent anti-viral activity, has emerged as the most effective treatment of hepatitis C and several other diseases. Its mode of action is still poorly understood: in addition to its therapeutic effects, IFN treatment is often associated with ill-understood & distressing neuropsychiatric problems: memory loss, anhedonia, aggression, impulsivity, suicidal ideation. Presented briefly here will be our work on the development of an animal model of the effects of IFN-α, focusing particularly on behavioural and neurophysiological analyses and on a possible treatment regimen.

Selected publications

O'Mara, S.M.
A Model Of Subicular Function: Space, Memory And The Response To Stress.
Behavioural Brain Research, 2006, in press
O'Mara, S.M.
Integrating the subiculum into hippocampal formation circuitry and the control of instrumental behaviour. Invited Theoretical Comment.
Behavioral Neuroscience, 2006 in press
Brotons, J., O’Mara S.M. & Sanchez-Vives, M.V.
Neural Processing Of Spatial Information: What We Know About Place Cells And What They Can Tell Us About Presence.
PRESENCE 2005, 8th Annual International Workshop on Presence and in press Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 2006 in press
O’Mara S.M.
The Subiculum: What It Does, What It Might Do, And What Neuroanatomy Has Yet To Tell Us.
Journal of Anatomy, 2005, 207, 271–282.
Roche, R.A.P., Mangaoang, M.A., Commins, S. & O’Mara, S.M.
Hippocampal Contributions To Neurocognitive Mapping In Humans: A New Model.
Hippocampus, 2005, 15, 622–641.

Glyn Goodall