UCL Division of Biosciences


CDB Seminar - Paul Frankland

09 February 2023, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

photo of Paul Frankland

Title: A shift in the mechanisms controlling hippocampal engram formation during brain maturation

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Michael Wright – Cell and Developmental Biology

Talk abstract: The ability to form precise, episodic memories develops with age, with young children only able to form gist-like memories that lack precision. The cellular and molecular events in the developing hippocampus that underlie the emergence of precise, episodic-like memory are unclear. In mice, we find that the absence of a competitive neuronal engram allocation process in the immature hippocampus precludes the formation of sparse engrams and precise memories until the fourth postnatal week, when inhibitory circuits in the hippocampus mature. This age-dependent shift in precision of episodic-like memories involves the functional maturation of parvalbumin-expressing interneurons in subfield CA1 by extracellular perineuronal nets which is necessary and sufficient for the onset of competitive neuronal allocation, sparse engram formation, and memory precision.

Suggested references: Ramsaran, A.I., Schlichting, M.L. and Frankland, P.W. (2019). The ontogeny of memory persistence and specificity. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 36, 100591. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2018.09.002.

Host: Caswell Barry

Join Zoom Meeting: https://ucl.zoom.us/j/92265420195

About the Speaker

Professor Paul Frankland

at University of Toronto

Paul Frankland is a Senior Scientist in the program in Neurosciences & Mental Health at the Hospital for Sick Children. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neurobiology, and is a member of the Department of Psychology, Department of Physiology and Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a member of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) in the program for Child and Brain Development. His lab’s research focuses on modeling cognitive function and dysfunction in mice. In particular, the lab is interested in understanding of systems consolidation, the role of adult neurogenesis in hippocampal memory function and forgetting, the identification and manipulation of memory engrams, and hippocampal memory development.

More about Professor Paul Frankland