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Research GELIFES

Prof. Havekes receives grant from American Airforce

01 July 2021

Prof. Robbert Havekes of the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES), together with Dr. Steve Ramirez of Boston University received a grant from the American Airforce worth a total of $ 750,000. The grant comes from the Department of Defense – Airforce Office of Scientific Research and is for the project ‘Restoring access to memories “lost” as a result of sleep deprivation’. Havekes will receive $ 300,000 for his part in the research project.

Havekes and Ramirez recently found out that sleep deprivation does not lead to memory loss, but instead limits access to information stored under suboptimal conditions. In this project, they will use and further develop optogenetic and pharmacological strategies to make memories thought-to-be-lost in the sleep-deprived brain re-accessible again.

In this image (generated by Youri Bolsius), you see a subpopulation of brain cells that is part of a neural ensemble encoding a specific memory. This ensemble can be made light-sensitive and reactivated at any given time using intracranial laser stimulation (i.e. optogenetics) and make animals remember the encoded information. Using this approach, the researchers recently showed that sleep deprivation does not lead to memory loss, but rather disrupts the access to information stored under such suboptimal conditions.
In this image (generated by Youri Bolsius), you see a subpopulation of brain cells that is part of a neural ensemble encoding a specific memory. This ensemble can be made light-sensitive and reactivated at any given time using intracranial laser stimulation (i.e. optogenetics) and make animals remember the encoded information. Using this approach, the researchers recently showed that sleep deprivation does not lead to memory loss, but rather disrupts the access to information stored under such suboptimal conditions.
Last modified:01 July 2021 3.10 p.m.
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