In this lecture, Eric R Kandel will consider the neural systems and molecular mechanisms that contribute to learning and long-term memory. He will divide his talk into two parts: first, he will consider how different memory systems were identified in the human brain and how they were shown to be involved in two major forms of neural memory storage: 1) simple memory for perceptual and motor skills and 2) complex memory for facts and events. He will then go on to outline studies of simple forms of memory in Aplysia that demonstrated that long-term memory is reflected in the growth of new synaptic connections. More complex forms of memory for space in the mouse will then be explored. Finally, he will discuss how our insights into memory storage are allowing us to understand various forms of age related memory loss.
Eric R. Kandel is Kavli Professor and University Professor at Columbia University and senior investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2000, and was shortlisted for the 2007 Royal Society Prize for Science Books for In Search of Memory, his account of his life and role in the new science of mind.
This is the sixth in a series of lectures on the nature of human knowledge and understanding supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.