Learning to Learn

How does the brain learn to learn?

Why do some learning experiences accelerate later learning whereas the other experiences prevent to learn? 

We try to understand the neural mechanism of learning to learn or so-called meta-learning.

Although there is an increasing demand for understanding neural mechanisms underlying human cognitive flexibility and learning efficiency, there is a lack of circuit-level investigation on how the brain achieves cognitive flexibility and learning to learn. Cognitive training induces learning to learn in mice and increases the long-term potentiation marker in the hippocampus in a compartment-specific way. During the cognitive task, transient increased excitatory-inhibitory coupling was observed in the hippocampus when cognitive demand is elevated, the same cognitive task induced persistent hippocampal inhibition changes. Despite evidence that inhibitory interneurons are critically engaged in cognitive control and memory acquisition process, there needs to be more knowledge on how inhibitory synaptic plasticity changes are engaged in cognitive control learning achievement in compartment-specific and cell type-specific ways. CoLD lab aims to test and model the relationship between dynamic plastic changes in synaptic circuit function and persistent cognitive enhancement.

Related publications: Chung et al., Nature, 2021