A comparative approach to the consolidation of kinship memory

In the first funding period, the group of Michael Brecht investigated how conspecifics are represented in the ventral hippocampus (Rao et al., 2019). Subsequently, we assessed the role of the lateral septum – a major downstream target of hippocampus – in social representation. The evidence accumulated by our group suggests that the lateral septum plays a decisive role in kinship behavior (Clemens, Wang and Brecht, 2020). Kinship is a key determinant of social behavior according to personal experience (family bonds) and evolutionary theory (Hamilton, 1964). In the second funding phase we will investigate how kinship bonds are formed and consolidated. Specifically, we will investigate how pre- and postnatal experience modifies circuits in the lateral septum such that ‘kinship memories’ are laid down and kinship bonds form. We will study the unique synapses on somatic spines of lateral septum neurons in a joint project with PI Marina Mikhaylova. We will also investigate polymodal human kinship memory.

Archive – A03 (SFB1315/1)



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