Hippocampal neural dynamics driving affiliation and attachment

Project: Research project

Project Details


As the primary computational PI in this project, my role will be to lead the analysis of microendoscopic imaging data collected in Aims 1 and 3. Imaging data will be collected in hippocampal CA2 neurons of mice (Hong lab), bats (Yartsev lab), and prairie voles (Donaldson lab), in approximately 8 sessions per animal across roughly 30 days of experimental time, during which time mating and (in some individuals) pair-bonding is expected to occur. Neuronal identities will be tracked across this 30-day window, allowing experimental investigation of the effect of pair bond formation and social experience on the representation of social cues by the CA2 population.
My laboratory will ensure that a common analytical framework is applied to data from all three species, allowing us to examine how inter-species differences in social behavior and pair bond formation are reflected in hippocampal activity. I will investigate to what extent different forms of behavioral and environmental information (self vs mate location, identity, behavior) are encoded in the CA2 population, and how the representation of this information evolves over the course of interaction and pair bond formation. This investigation will test our hypothesis that pair bond formation strengthens the representation of an animal’s mate among CA2 neurons, which may occur either by increase in the size or activity levels of the mate-encoding CA2 ensemble, an increase in the ensemble signal-to-noise ratio, a change in the tuning of individual neurons (for example a loss of mixed selectivity), or a change in the overall dimensionality of population activity. In Aim 3, I will furthermore investigate how both CA2 population activity and pair-bonding behavior is altered in imaging data from animals following chemogenetic perturbation of vasopressin input to hippocampal CA2 neurons.
Effective start/end date4/15/213/31/24


  • University of California at Los Angeles (2000 G YK444//1U01NS122124-01)
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (2000 G YK444//1U01NS122124-01)


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