We are searching for the molecular, cellular and circuit processes that underlie the encoding, allocation, storage and linking of information in the brain.
Recent studies have used state-of-the-art approaches such as optogenetics, circuit mapping, one and two-photon in vivo imaging to study the circuit mechanisms that integrate and link memories across time.
Insights into mechanisms of memory are being used to unravel the causes and develop treatments for cognitive deficits associated with aging, intellectual disabilities, and autism. Our studies in mice suggested that it is possible to reverse neurodevelopmental disorders, such as intellectual disabilities associated with mutations in NF1, TSC and DISC1, in adults.
Studies of the mechanisms underlying extraordinary cognitive function are being used to develop general treatments for cognitive disorders and to accelerate recovery after brain injury.
The Silva laboratory is also developing bioinformatic strategies to address the growing complexity of the literature, including the development of a set of algorithms and a free web app (researchmaps.org) to track causal information in biology.