In our laboratory we use electrophysiological approaches to study synaptic transmission in rat hippocampus, an area of the brain known to be critical for the consolidation of experience into long-term memory. Our goal is to develop an understanding of the molecular mechanisms that control neurotransmitter release from presynaptic neurons, and characteristics of receptors on postsynaptic neurons. A central question we are interested in is how hippocampal synaptic transmission changes with aging. We are testing the hypothesis that a defect in the cyclic AMP signaling cascade results in significant alterations in synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity in aged rat hippocampus. Such changes might underlie the deficits in declarative memory often exhibited by aged rodents and humans
Click here for a more detailed description of the Parfitt lab’s hippocampal research.
Previous student research projects
For titles of former students’s theses, please see the list of Former Students.