Importance of mammillary body connections for memory. (360G-Wellcome-090954_Z_09_Z)
Parallel programs of work will be carried out using rats and patients to compare and test different hypotheses of mammillary body function. Answering these research questions will involve separating the key inputs that drive mammillary body function and determining the different ways in which they might support memory. A combined rat/human approach will take advantage of the unique benefits provided by each line of research. In rats, I have developed techniques that make it possible to disconn ect selectively all the major afferent and efferent connections of the mammillary bodies. By manipulating these sets of inputs and outputs it will be possible to test which are key for memory function, and why are they important. The application of convergent techniques with rats (electrophysiology, functional gene-imaging, anatomical disconnections, behaviour) will be used to assess system function. Complementary research with patients who have mammillary body damage from different aetiologies will address very similar questions. A key component will be detailed anatomical assessments based on MRI derived information, including diffusion tensor imaging. Again, multiple approaches, including neuropsychological testing and functional imaging, will be used to test various models of mammillary body function.
£1,089,059 22 Mar 2010