Investigating the cellular mechanism of forgetting: Does synaptic potentiation recover memory loss?

This project is based on the broader frame of an experimental line in the lab about forgetting and the cellular and synaptic mechanisms underlying it; in this project we aim to explain what occurs at the synaptic level when a memory is forgotten, and how can this process be manipulated. The student will aim to describe whether the induction of synaptic potentiation can recover a forgotten memory. This project involves behavior, electrophysiology and optogenetics in the freely moving animal.


Investigating the circuit mechanisms underlying an innate fear

The amygdala is known to process learned fears. Recent data from our lab suggest that the amygdala is also engaged in processing innate fear. This raises a dilemma: How the same regions can process two qualitatively different types of information, one requires learning,  the other evolutionary hard-wired in our brain.

The student will investigate whether overlapping  neurons within the amygdala process both information. The project involves, behavior, in vivo imaging, brain circuit mapping, optogenetics, immunohistochemistry, and confocal microscopy.   


Investigating the mechanisms underlying formation of long-lasting memories

Not all memories are created equal: some last a lifetime while others are lost soon after they are formed. What are the causes of this difference? The ultimate aim of this project is to understand the electrophysiological properties as well as the proteins that contribute to the formation of long-lived. The student will work on this project under the umbrella of the center for proteins in memory, PROMEMO.  The project relies on variety of techniques, particularly behavior, optogenetics, electrophysiology, biochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and confocal microscopy. 


Current projects with open spots

In vivo and in vitro electrophysiology

In vivo and in vitro imaging

Confocal imaging

2-photon laser scanning microscopy

Fiber photometry

Miniaturized fluorescence microscope imaging

Optogenetics and behavior

Rodent surgery

Virus-mediated circuit mapping



Very motivated student with passion for science, who is willing to commit to the requirements of behavioural research.

Can work in a team and communicate to others, but also be independent.

Doesn’t necessarily need any experience in the described techniques, only the will of learning, patience, and perseverance.



The successful applicant is:

Available opportunities for students

nabavi lab

if you are interested

Funding agencies and affiliation: