Neururological Mysis Of Learning And Memory

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My fascination with the neurological basis of learning and memory began during an independent research project in the second year of my master’s degree at Bangalore University. I was in awe when I realized how extraordinarily complex the neural mechanisms that support memory formation are and yet these profound neural events may be “undone” if the memories are not retrieved. Furthermore, I learned that memories can be embedded in chains, or “engrams”, composed of antecedent and subsequent events and may lack specific retrieval ‘checkpoints’. Despite having been introduced to the subject during a neuroscience course, it was the experience of laboratory research that made me want to be a neuroscientist. Ever since, I have wondered how engrams …show more content…
I quickly realized that I wanted to record neural activity in behaving animals. I also realized that I needed a formal education in neurobiology. Thus, I successfully applied for the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (MSBS) program at Mount Sinai with a major in neuroscience. While I was waiting to hear about the status of my MSBS application, I took a job as a database manager at SRL diagnostics, a company that stores data from clinical trials. During this time, I gained proficiency in several research-relevant computing platforms. In the MSBS program, I have pursued my interest in learning and memory by working in the laboratory of Dr. Matthew Shapiro who characterizes the neural mechanisms that support cognition. For my master’s thesis, I am behaviourally and electrophysiologically characterizing the Shank3-deficient rat; a genetically modified rat model of autism. My current research project is focused on recording visual evoked potentials (VEPs) in awake behaving rats. I have acquired promising preliminary data that suggest our task design may offer a robust platform for assessing the source of visual attention deficits in rat models of neurodevelopmental disorders. My experience at Mount Sinai has provided me with enormous training opportunities. I have learned to be organized, work efficiently and think …show more content…
Quality mentoring, broad opportunities for interdisciplinary study and a friendly, collaborative academic community are all very important to me; and Rochester excels in all of these categories. I believe doing my PhD here will help me achieve my goal to be an independent neuroscience researcher who makes major contributions to the scientific literature. During my time in the MSBS, I have found that my scientific interests have become strongly focused on sensory processing, memory retrieval and cognitive deficits in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. Thus, I am intrigued with the work of Drs. Loisa Bennetto, Tatiana Pasternak, and Ben Hayden. However, among the most impressive things about Rochester is the extraordinary diversity of neuroscience research that takes place here. I look forward to exploring and benefitting from this diversity during my laboratory rotations. This will help further my knowledge and allow me to establish myself as a competitive neuroscience researcher for the NIH grants. With a PhD from this program I am sure to be a competitive applicant for fellowships and research positions, and well equipped to achieve my goal of an independent career in neuroscience research. Furthermore, I plan to pursue my research in the field of

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