Recent News

  • April 2021: TENURED!
    Shantanu has officially received tenure, and will soon be Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience on 1 July 2021.
    Thanks to my awesome lab, my colleagues and mentors at Brandeis University, my mentors throughout my scientific career, and my supportive family.
  • March 2021: New paper in eLife, by Wenbo Tang and Justin Shin. "Multiple time-scales of decision making in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex". We establish neural population sequences at multiple timescales in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, and determine their complementary roles in memory-guided decision making.
    We demonstrate neural population sequences at multiple timescales in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, ~100ms for theta sequences and sharp-wave ripple replay events, and ~seconds for trajectory-dependent firing sequences or “splitter” sequences during behavior. In particular, we show theta sequences, theta cycle skipping, and theta-sequence prediction of behavioral choices in prefrontal cortex. We thus integrate hippocampal and prefrontal behavioral sequences, theta sequences and replay sequences in a unified framework for memory-guided decision making.
  • December 2020: Justin Shin has defended his thesis! He is staying on in lab as a postdoc to finish projects.
  • August 2020: Claire Symanski defended her thesis! She will move on to a position with Dynamed soon.
  • June 2020: Mark Zielinski has defended his thesis! He will move on to a data scientist position in 2021.
  • Apr 2020: New paper in Current Biology, by newly graduated Linnea Herzog. Collaboration with the Katz lab. "Refinement and reactivation of a taste-responsive hippocampal network".
    We follow up on our discovery of taste-reponsive place cells, aka 'tasty' place cells, to show how novel taste experience leads to refinement and reactivation of taste-responsive place cells to signal areas of behavioral salience.
  • Dec 2019: Linnea Herzog defends her thesis and moves on to a postdoc in Broad Institute!
  • Oct-Dec 2019: New paper in Neuron, by graduate students Justin Shin and Wenbo Tang: "Dynamics of awake hippocampal-prefrontal replay for spatial learning and memory-guided decision making".
    We track replay in hippocampal-prefrontal ensembles continuously across learning to reveal how reverse and forward replay support spatial learning and memory-guided decision making. This study shows that reverse hippocampal replay mediates the ability to evaluate past actions leading to reward, in order to learn and form memories. In contrast, forward replay supports the ability to think ahead, and imagine and plan choices that will lead to goals in the future. Coordinated activation in the prefrontal cortex uses these retrospective and prospective replay evaluations to recall specific past experiences to make ongoing decisions. Our study establishes that replay serves as a key neural substrate underlying an internal dialogue across multiple brain regions to support our ability to learn, plan, choose, and imagine.
    Featured in a NIMH news article, "Reading the Brain’s Map: Coordinated Brain Activation Supports Spatial Learning and Decision-Making".
    Featured in a Brandeis news article, "The neuroscience behind remembering the past and plotting the future.".
  • July 2019: NEW GRANT AWARD! Shantanu receives the Smith Family Foundation Odyssey Award.
  • July 2019: NEW GRANT AWARD! The lab has received a 2nd RO1 grant from NIMH!
  • Apr 2019: New paper in Journal of Neuroscience, by graduate students Mark Zielinski and Justin Shin: "Coherent coding of spatial position mediated by theta oscillations in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex".
    This study establishes that theta oscillations mediate a temporal coordination mechanism for coherent coding of spatial position in hippocampal-prefrontal networks during memory-guided behavior. We found that ensemble activity in the prefrontal cortex encodes animal’s current position coherently with hippocampal populations at a theta-cycle timescale, and theta-phase associated spiking refines this spatial coding in both regions.
  • Feb 2019: News about our place and taste coding paper: "So close, rats can almost taste it".
  • Feb 2019: New paper in Journal of Neuroscience, by graduate student Linnea Herzog, research technician Leila Pascual, and undergraduates Elon and Seneca as authors. Collaboration with the Katz lab. "Interaction of taste and place coding in the hippocampus".
    We report the discovery of taste-reponsive place cells, aka 'tasty' place cells, that encode palatability of tastants. A subset of place cells with weak spatial responses discriminated between tastes based on palatability. The hippocampus thus overlays existing mental maps with information about the hedonic values of tastes, providing a mechanism by which animals can use past experience to locate food sources.
  • Jan 2019: Shantanu gave a talk at the Winter Conference in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory in Utah.
  • Dec 2018: New preview article in Neuron, by Wenbo and Shantanu: "Conducting the Neural Symphony of Memory Replay".
  • Sep 2018: Our new paper "Disruption of dorsal hippocampal – prefrontal interactions using chemogenetic inactivation impairs spatial learning" is published in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. Dennis, Yuki and Ethan are authors.
    We use DREADDs to perturb dorsal hippcampal (dHPC) - prefrontal (PFC) interactions during learning on a novel W-maze alternation task. The paper shows that contralateral dHPC - PFC inactivation impairs learning on the spatial working memory component of the task. A huge amount of behavioral work for this paper by MS student Dennis Maharjan (currently in grad school in CSHL), and undergraduates, Yu Dai and Ethan Glantz (currently both lab techs in Harvard).
  • Apr 2018: Shantanu gave a talk at the UC Irvine International Conference on Learning and Memory.
  • Feb 2018: Shantanu gave a talk at IISER Pune, India.
  • Jan 2018: Shantanu gave a talk at Rice University and the Baylor College of Medicine.
  • Jan 2018: Our new article in a special sleep issue of Neurobiology of Learning and Memory , with Wenbo and Shantanu as authors: "Sharp-wave ripples as a signature of hippocampal-prefrontal reactivation for memory during sleep and waking states".
  • Dec 2017: Our new commentary in Hippocampus, with Mark and Wenbo as co-first authors: "The role of replay and theta sequences in mediating hippocampal-prefrontal interactions for memory and cognition".
  • Dec 2017: The Brandeis Science blog has a summary of the lab's recent results: "Communicating Memory Information Between the Hippocampus and Prefrontal Cortex".
  • Dec 2017: Our article on hippocampal-prefrontal reactivation during awake vs. sleep sharp-wave ripples (SWRs) is published in the Journal of Neuroscience, with Wenbo and Justin as authors: "Hippocampal-prefrontal reactivation during learning is stronger in awake compared with sleep states".
    This study that revealed a surprising difference between awake and sleep replay. Despite the dogma that sleep replay is primarily responsible for reactivating memories of our experiences for permanent long-term storage, we found that replay in the hippocampal-prefrontal cortical circuit is stronger in waking states than in sleep states, and awake replay recapitulates spatial memories much more precisely than sleep replay, which is inherently noisy. These results strongly indicated that awake and sleep replay have different functional roles, and further challenged a major dogma about the role of sleep replay in memory consolidation.
    Featured in the issue of Journal of Neuroscience : "PFC–Hippocampus Interactions during Sleep and Awake Ripples".
  • Nov 2017: Wenbo Tang presents her and Justin Shin's poster at the Society for Neuroscience Meeting (SFN) in Washington DC.
  • Oct 2017: Our new paper "Hippocampal-prefrontal reactivation during learning is stronger in awake compared with sleep states" is published in the Journal of Neuroscience. Wenbo and Justin are authors.
    This paper demonstrates coordinated reactivation in the hippocampal-prefrontal network during sleep sharp-wave ripples (SWRs). In a previous paper (Jadhav et al., Neuron 2016), we had shown coordinated reactivation during awake SWRs. In this new J. Neurosci paper, we report profound differences in hippocampal-cortical reactivation during awake and sleep SWRs, with key implications for their roles in memory. We show that awake reactivation is a more accurate representation of behavioral experiences, and is enhanced during initial learning, without requiring coordination of network oscillations that is seen during sleep.
  • Sep 2017: Shantanu gave a talk at the "Heidelberg Neuronal Ensemble Conference" in University of Hedielberg, and at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany.
  • Jun 2017: Shantanu gave a talk at the "Spring Hippocampal Research Meeting" in Taormina, Italy.
  • Apr 2017: NEW GRANT AWARD! The lab has a new RO1 grant from NIMH
  • Feb 2017: Wenbo Tang presents her poster at the COSYNE Meeting (Computational and Systems Neuroscience) in Salt Lake City.
  • Nov 2016: A new collaborative paper with the Redish and Frank labs, with Mark and Shantanu as authors, is published in Neuron, describing interplay between hippocampal sharp-wave ripples and vicarious trial and error behaviors in decision making: "Interplay between hippocampal sharp-wave ripple events and vicarious trial and error behaviors in decision making"
  • Nov 2016: Dennis Maharjan, Yuki Dai, and Ethan Glantz present their poster at the Society for Neuroscience Meeting (SFN) in San Diego.
  • Aug 2016: A new review paper on hippocampal-prefrontal interactions, with Justin and Shantanu as authors, is published in Current Opinion in Neurobiology. The paper is entitled, "Multiple modes of hippocampal-prefrontal interactions in memory-guided behavior".
  • Sep 2016: NEW GRANT AWARD! Shantanu has been awarded the 2016 Whitehall Foundation Award.
  • Mar 2016: Our new paper reporting coordinated hippocampal-prefrontal reactivation during awake hippocampal sharp-wave ripple events is published online in Neuron.
    Accompanied by a NIH Press Release.
    The paper is entitled, "Coordinated excitation and inhibition of prefrontal ensembles during awake hippocampal sharp-wave ripple events"
  • Oct 2015: Mark Zielinski presents a poster at the Society for Neuroscience Meeting (SFN) in Chicago.
  • Oct 2015: NEW GRANT AWARD! Shantanu has been awarded the 2015 NARSAD Young Investigator Grant from the Brain and Behavior Foundation.
  • Feb 2015: NEW GRANT AWARD! Shantanu has been awarded the 2015 Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship.
    Brandeis article about Sloan Award.
    Another news article.
  • An old press release in Fall 2014 about awake mental replay of past experiences.
    NIH Press Release.
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  • Lab Personnel

  • Nov 2019: Chris Leppla joins the lab as a postdoc. Welcome Chris!
  • Sep 2019: John Bladon joins the lab as a postdoc. Welcome John!
  • Sep 2019: Audrey Hooker joins the lab as a research technician.
  • Jul 2019: Jacob Olson joins the lab as a postdoc
  • May 2019: Mingxin Ding joins the lab as a graduate student
  • Jan 2018: Emi Kullberg starts as a research assistant in the lab
  • Aug 2017: Mohammed Adel joins the lab for a semester as a MS student
  • Jan 2017: Emi Kullberg joins the lab as a MS student
  • Sep 2016: Leila May Pascual joins the lab as a research assistant
  • Jul 2016: Roshan Nanu joins the Jadhav and Lisman labs as a Neuroscience graduate student
  • Jun 2016: Suman Guha joins the lab as a postdoc
  • May 2016: Wenbo Tang and Ryan Young join the lab as Neuroscience graduate students
  • Sep 2015: Wesley Alford joins the lab as a research assistant
  • Jul 2015: Claire Symanski joins the Jadhav and Van Hooser labs as a Neuroscience graduate student
  • May 2015: Justin Shin joins the Jadhav lab as a Neuroscience graduate student
  • May 2015: Linnea Herzog joins the Jadhav and Katz labs as a Neuroscience graduate student
  • Jan 2015: Dennis Maharjan and Ryan Young join the Jadhav lab as Master's student
  • Dec 2014: Liadan Gunter joins the Jadhav lab as lab technician
  • Dec 2014: Mark Zielinski joins the Jadhav lab as a Neuroscience graduate student
  • Shantanu arrives in Brandeis University in Fall 2014