Havekes lab - Neuroscience of Memory and Sleep



Neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders are a large social economic burden in our society with an increasing number of people suffering from debilitating brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Autism spectrum disorders and Schizophrenia. Furthermore, in our modern 24/7 society, there is an increasing pressure to stay awake longer due to social-economic demands. Intriguingly, sleep disturbances and sleep loss are a hallmark of the aforementioned neurocognitive and neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition, sleep deprivation has a major impact on cognitive capacity. However, it is unknown through which neurobiological mechanisms sleep deprivation affects cognitive capacity and how it also relates to the development of these brain disorders.  

The Havekes lab focuses 1) on elucidating the molecular underpinnings of memory storage and its retrieval, and 2) how these processes are debilitated under maladaptive conditions such as sleep deprivation and neurodevelopmental and neurocognitive disorders. In order to systematically investigate how the brain orchestrates specific aspects of memory, we have implemented a combination of behavioral studies with genetic and pharmacological approaches, viral strategies, biochemistry, imaging techniques, optogenetics, and memory engram manipulations. 

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