Based at the Behavioural Neuroscience Laboratory, School of Psychology
Amnesia, episodic memory, mammillary bodies, spatial memory.
Research Interests and Facilities
My principal research aim is to provide a greater understanding how our brains support memory and determine what happens when these memory systems break down. Although the hippocampus is the most widely known brain structure to be linked to memory there are other brain regions that are also necessary for spatial memory in animals and episodic memory in humans; these include structures within the medial diencephalon including the mammillary bodies. By using a number of convergent approaches in both animal models and clinical populations it is possible to understand how these different brain regions work together to support memory at a number of different levels.
The Behavioural Neuroscience Laboratory is equipped with extensive behavioural testing suites and surgery/histology facilities. The imaging facilities in CUBRIC are state-of-the-art and include a 275-channel VSM/CTF MEG system, a 3-Tesla GE HDx MRI scanner, a 32-channel MRI compatible EEG system, three EEG laboratories, 2 TMS systems and a 300-node computing cluster dedicated to neuroimaging data analysis. CUBRIC also has dedicated support staff to support neuroimaging research.
Available PhD Projects
- Arc, PKMζ, CamKII expression in normal animals and in animal models of amnesia.
- Spatial and episodic memory in a clinical population – a combined neuropsychological and neuroimaging study.
- How do the mammillary bodies support spatial memory in animals?
- Understanding memory using a combined anatomical and neurochemical approach.
- Vann, S.D. (2009) Gudden’s ventral tegmental nucleusis vital for memory: Re-evaluating diencephalic inputs for amnesia. Brain, 132:2372-2384.
- Vann, S.D., Albasser, M.M. (2009) Hippocampal, retrosplenial and prefrontal hypoactivity in a model of diencephalic amnesia: Evidence towards an interdependent subcortical-cortical memory network. Hippocampus, 19:1090-1102.
- Tsivilis, D., Vann, S.D., Denby, C., Roberts, Mayes, A., Montaldi, D., Aggleton, J.P. (2008) The importance of the fornix and mammillary bodies for human memory: A disproportionate role for recall versus recognition. Nature Neuroscience, 11:834-842.
- Vann, S.D., Brown, M.W., Erichsen, J.T., Aggleton, J.P. (2000). Fos imaging reveals differential patterns of hippocampal and parahippocampal subfield activation in rats in response to different spatial memory tests. Journal of Neuroscience, 20: 2711-2718.
- Vann, S.D., Tsivilis, D., Denby, C.E., Quamme, J.R., Yonelinas, A.P., Aggleton, J.P., Montaldi, D., Mayes, A.R. (2009) Impaired recollection but spared familiarity in patients with extended hippocampal system damage revealed by three convergent methods. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 106:5093-5098.
- Vann, S.D. (2010) Re-evaluating the role of the mammillary bodies in memory. Neuropsychologia, 48:2316-2327