Philippe Peigneux, head of the UR2NF team, is the coordinator of an EOS – Excellence Of Science project called “MEMODYN – The journey of a memory: dynamics of learning and consolidation in maturation and ageing ».
The MEMODYN project is funded by both the F.R.S.-FNRS and the FWO, during four years (about 1M€/ year). The MEMODYN consortium brings together four Belgian universities (ULB, ULiège, UGent and KU Leuven) and one partner outside Belgium (UCL, UK).
Within ULB, Philippe Peigneux and Charline Urbain from UR2NF will collaborate with ULB Neuroscience Institute (UNI) partners Xavier de Tiège and Vincent Wens from the Laboratoire de Cartographie Fonctionnelle Cérébrale.
Abstract of the project
We are our memory”. The MEMODYN project investigates this fascinating subject of fundamental importance. We take a fresh perspective that emphasises the study of memory, in its natural dynamic setting, as a journey in the making. The two key characters in this journey are learning and consolidation; these processes are known to interact but have hitherto been studied in isolation. The perspective of this project enables them to be understood, for the first time, under the influence of their inherent interactions, and in the context of brain maturation and ageing. The project aims to provide new insight into how much our ability to learn is dictated by the make up of our neuronal circuitries, how memories are initially formed and later stored for the long haul, how this is made possible by the rewiring of our neuronal circuitries, and how our memory processes and capacities vary as our brain evolves through its lifespan. We develop novel methodologies to address these aims by harnessing recent advances in experimental techniques (behavioural, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging) and computational modelling. A unique blend of psychologists, neuroscientists, and engineers has been assembled to provide the collective expertise critical to the delivery of this inter-disciplinary endeavour. The outcomes of this research may lay the foundation for identifying vulnerabilities in learning and consolidation pathways eventually leading to their treatment.