Rosa Cossart and her team receive the “Allianz-Fondation de l’Institut de France” prize for their work on the hippocampus, which aims to reveal new neural mechanisms essential to its development and the physiological maintenance of its functions. These investigations also serve to better understand pathologies linked to hippocampal dysfunctions that alter spatial and episodic memory, such as epilepsy or Alzheimer’s disease.
The hippocampus is a structure that houses a cognitive map of space, involved in navigation, learning and episodic memory. The work of this team is largely based on its expertise in in vivo functional imaging, which it combines with electrophysiology, genetics, anatomy and big data processing tools. They have made it possible to reveal the foundations of the hippocampus, which take the form of early neuron assemblies.
The team is now pursuing its research around 3 questions:
1) Do these early assemblies form specific circuits in the adult seahorse?
2) Are they predetermined or shaped by experience?
3) What are their pathophysiological functions in the memory and navigational processes?