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Molecular cellular cognition

– Scientific roots – MCC rooted in pharmacological studies of NMDA receptor – Initial studies included knockout mice for alpha calcium calmodulin kinase II and […]

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– Scientific roots
– MCC rooted in pharmacological studies of NMDA receptor
– Initial studies included knockout mice for alpha calcium calmodulin kinase II and FYN kinase
– Expansion to include molecules like CREB
– Focus on long-term potentiation and spatial learning
– Pioneering studies on dendritic processes

– Foundation of the field
– Formation of Molecular Cellular Cognition Society
– Society holds meetings without membership fees
– First meeting in Orlando, Florida in 2002
– Subsequent meetings in North America, Europe, and Asia
– Society had over 4000 members by 2012

– References
– Studies on NMDA receptor antagonist AP5
– Impaired spatial learning in alpha-calcium-calmodulin kinase II mutant mice
– Deficient hippocampal long-term potentiation in mutant mice
– Impaired long-term potentiation in FYN mutant mice
– Role of synaptic plasticity in memory studies

– Methods employed
– Use of transgenic organisms like mice
– Utilization of viral vectors and pharmacology
– Employing electrophysiology techniques
– Application of optogenetics and in vivo imaging
– Behavioral analysis as a key method

– Distinction from cognitive neuroscience
– Focus on integration of molecular and cellular explanations
– Study of model organisms like mice
– Emphasis on synaptic plasticity and network representations
– Use of multilevel data and modeling
– Different approach from human brain systems-behavior connection

Molecular cellular cognition (Wikipedia)

Molecular cellular cognition (MCC) is a branch of neuroscience that involves the study of cognitive processes with approaches that integrate molecular, cellular and behavioral mechanisms. Key goals of MCC studies include the derivation of molecular and cellular explanations of cognitive processes, as well as finding mechanisms and treatments for cognitive disorders.

Although closely connected with behavioral genetics, MCC emphasizes the integration of molecular and cellular explanations of behavior, instead of focusing on the connections between genes and behavior.

Unlike cognitive neuroscience, which historically has focused on the connection between human brain systems and behavior, the field of MCC has used model organisms, such as mice, to study how molecular (i.e. receptor, kinase activation, phosphatase regulation), intra-cellular (i.e. dendritic processes), and inter-cellular processes (i.e. synaptic plasticity; network representations such as place fields) modulate cognitive function.

Methods employed in MCC include (but are not limited to) transgenic organisms (i.e. mice), viral vectors, pharmacology, in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology, optogenetics, in vivo imaging, and behavioral analysis. Modeling has become an essential component of the field because of the complexity of the multilevel data generated.

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