Richard G M Morris

Richard G M Morris
The University of Edinburgh | UoE · Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems

BA., D.Phil., CBE., FRS

About

340
Publications
58,281
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52,122
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Introduction
Professor of Neuroscience. My primary research interests are in the neurobiology of learning and memory. I developed the "watermaze", made early observations about the role of the NMDA receptor in spatial learning, co-developed the synaptic tagging and capture hypothesis of protein synthesis-dependent long-term potentiation (with Julie Frey) and have, most recently, started working on a schema approach to systems consolidation.
Additional affiliations
September 1987 - present
The University of Edinburgh
Position
  • Reader and then Professor of Neuroscience
Description
  • Undergraduate and postgraduate teaching of neuroscience, especially behavioural and cognitive neuroscience
September 1986 - present
The University of Edinburgh
Position
  • Professor of Neuroscience
Description
  • LCN is a laboratory committed to investigating the neurobiological basis of memory.
September 1977 - August 1986
University of St Andrews
Position
  • Lecturer
Education
September 1969 - April 1974
University of Sussex
Field of study
  • Experimental Psychology
September 1966 - June 1969
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Natural Sciences Tripos

Publications

Publications (340)
Article
Full-text available
Alterations in long-range functional connectivity between distinct brain regions are thought to contribute to the encoding of memory. However, little is known about how the activation of an existing network of neocortical and hippocampal regions might support the assimilation of relevant new information into the preexisting knowledge structure or ‘...
Article
Advances in the understanding of developmental brain disorders such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is being achieved through human neurogenetics such as, for example, identifying de novo mutations in SYNGAP1 as one relatively common cause of ASD. A recently developed rat line lacking the calcium/lipid binding (C2) and GTPase activation protein...
Article
Full-text available
A key issue in neurobiological studies of episodic‐like memory is the geometric frame of reference in which memory traces of experience are stored. Assumptions are sometimes made that specific protocols favour either allocentric (map‐like) or egocentric (body‐centered) representations. There are, however, grounds for suspecting substantial ambiguit...
Article
Full-text available
The temporal pole (TP) has been involved in multiple functions from emotional and social behavior, semantic processing, memory, language in humans and epilepsy surgery, to the fronto-temporal neurodegenerative disorder (semantic) dementia. However, the role of the TP subdivisions is still unclear, in part due to the lack of quantitative data about...
Preprint
Full-text available
Knowledge is acquired by generalization and integration across learning experiences, which can then be applied to future instances. This study provides novel insights into how linguistic associative knowledge is acquired by systematically tracking schematic knowledge formation while participants were learning an abstract artificial language organiz...
Article
Full-text available
Shortly before he died in October 2017, John Lisman submitted an invited review to Molecular Brain on ‘Criteria for identifying the molecular basis of the engram (CaMKII, PKMζ)’. John had no opportunity to read the referees’ comments, and as a mark of the regard in which he was held by the neuroscience community the Editors decided to publish his r...
Article
Over the 40 years that TINS has been in existence, there has been substantial progress in understanding the types, organisation, and neural mechanisms of memory. The selectivity of memory maintenance and retention remains a puzzle, and we here summarise two contributions of our own research to this enigma: the striking impact of the novelty and sur...
Article
Full-text available
We introduce the concept of “silent learning”—the capacity to learn despite neuronal cell-firing being largely absent. This idea emerged from thinking about dendritic computation [1 • London M. • Häusser M. Dendritic computation.Annu. Rev. Neurosci. 2005; 28: 503-532 • Crossref • PubMed • Scopus (600) • Google Scholar , 2 • Golding N.L. • Staff...
Article
Full-text available
This review brings together past and present achievements in memory research, ranging from molecular to psychological discoveries. Despite some false starts, major advances include our growing understanding of learning-related neural plasticity and the characterisation of different classes of memory. One striking example is the ability to reactivat...
Article
Full-text available
Zusammenfassung In diesem Übersichtsartikel blicken wir auf unsere Beiträge zur Erforschung der Eigenschaften und Mechanismen der Langzeitpotenzierung (LTP) zurück und beschreiben die wichtigsten Einflüsse auf unsere Arbeit. Wir fahren dann fort abzuwägen, ob diese Forschung ihre frühen Versprechungen erfüllt hat, eine überzeugende Darstellung der...
Article
Full-text available
In this review we reflect upon our contributions to the study of the properties and mechanisms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and describe some of the major influences on our work. We then go on to consider whether LTP has fulfilled its early promise of providing a compelling account of the synaptic basis of learning and memory.
Article
Full-text available
After consolidation, information belonging to a mental schema is better remembered, but such memory can be less specific when it comes to details. A neuronal mechanism in line with this behavioral pattern could result from a dynamic interaction that entails mediation by a specific cortical network with associated hippocampal disengagement. We now r...
Article
Full-text available
The later stages of long-term potentiation (LTP) in vitro and spatial memory in vivo are believed to depend upon gene transcription. Accordingly, considerable attempts have been made to identify both the mechanisms by which transcription is regulated and indeed the gene products themselves. Previous studies have shown that deletion of one regulator...
Article
Full-text available
RationaleSynaptic memory consolidation is thought to rely on catecholaminergic signaling. Eventually, it is followed by systems consolidation, which embeds memories in a neocortical network. Although this sequence was demonstrated in rodents, it is unclear how catecholamines affect memory consolidation in humans. Objectives Here, we tested the effe...
Article
Full-text available
Author Summary Memories are initially stored in a hippocampal–cortical network; however, which brain area is important for long-term storage depends on what happens after learning. For example, replay of recent memories during sleep is thought to lead to consolidation in the cortex. In contrast, postlearning novelty is thought to strengthen hippoca...
Data
Supplemental experiment. The experimental design involved a group Ext, as described in the main text, that received an extinction trial (120s) 24h after the training day and followed by a 7d probe trial. Ext-SD used the same general design; however the sleep deprivation (SD) procedure involved gentle handling rather than novelty. (TIF)
Data
Watermaze pictures. Watermaze pictures with extra-maze cues (left) and schematic (right). The pool had a radius of 1m, while the analysis zones centered on the platform locations had each a radius of 43cm. (TIF)
Data
Primary experiment. Shown are the latencies to reach the platform during the first and second session of the training day on all three experiments. (TIF)
Data
Retrieval-associated IEG expression. A direct comparison of N+SD with Sleep at retrieval is displayed with positive values reflecting higher gene expression in Sleep and negative values higher gene expression in N+SD. A gene x brain area interaction was seen (F = 4.4, df 2/60, p<0.03, with post-hoc linear contrast p<0.03), with Sleep showing higher...
Data
Paths. Shown are example paths of individual animals in the Base, Pre-E and Int experiments. (TIF)
Data
qPCR analysis consolidation period. ANOVA with within-subject factors gene, brain area (BA) and between-subject factors condition (Sleep/N+SD, con) and time (2,4,6h). (PDF)
Data
Swim time zone analysis. Shown are the values for each animal for the Sleep and N+SD zone. Chance level 17.6%. (PDF)
Data
Time spent sleeping and gene expression. The correlations between IEG expression measured after the consolidation period in the Sleep condition (all three 2, 4, 6h) and the amount of time spend sleeping (as measured by motion analysis). There were no significant effects in the HPC, but all three genes showed a significant negative correlation betwe...
Data
Counterbalanced design for the 2-session training day. Half the animals were trained in session 1 to a platform location in NW (top row) while the other half to SE (bottom row). Each group was subdivided and assigned to either Sleep or N+SD during the first consolidation window, after which each animal was trained to the other platform position and...
Data
Sleep protocol. Left: animals in individual sleeping cages. Right: sleep periods in blue over the 6h consolidation period of an example animal. The animal switches continuously between sleep and wake periods. (TIF)
Data
Primary experiment. Shown is the percent swim time in the zone for N+SD (y-axis) and for Sleep (x-axis) for each animal (within-subject experimental design). There was a significant negative correlation across all experiments (black line). The dotted line represents perfect anti-correlation (slope = -1.0). Note correlation was weakest for the Extin...
Data
Cluster analysis. Presented are the different measures from the cluster analysis for the Base, Pre-E and Ext experiment. (Top row, left to right): Point to point distances (PtoP), point to center distance (PtoC), Average activity for the cluster peaks drawn from the dwell time maps; (Bottom row): Cluster size in % area of pool and pixel, distance f...
Data
RT-qPCR analysis. Shown as fold change (in contrast to % change of the main figure). HPC = hippocampus, mPFC = medial prefrontal cortex, N+SD = novelty with sleep deprivation, HC = home cage controls. Means +/- 1 SEM. (TIF)
Data
Retrieval-associated IEG expression. Left panel: At retrieval in comparison to HC, HPC showed higher changes in IEG expression than mPFC (F = 14.7, df 1/60, p<0.001) and, contrasting to encoding (i.e. left panel vs Fig 3B), a significant gene x trial type effect was seen (F = 3.9, df 1.28/85.9, p<0.05; Greenhouse-Geisser correction). Right panel: I...
Data
Sleep deprivation with and without novelty. Procedures as described for N+SD (two pictures on the left) and SD (two pictures on the right). (TIF)
Data
Study design for the qPCR experiments investigating retrieval. Always half the animals were Sleep and N+SD for 6h post training. (TIF)
Data
qPCR plates. The qPCR data on each plate was analyzed in two ways. (A) For Encoding, Consolidation and Retrieval we calculated fold and then percentage change to home cage controls. That is, the blue triplicates for the sleep condition were compared with the white home-cage triplicates; likewise the orange N+SD triplicates. (B) Additional for Retri...
Data
Baseline experiment. Shown is the zone analysis of the Baseline or ‘primary’ experiment separated for the two sequences with sequence 1 Sleep followed by N+SD and sequence 2 N+SD followed by Sleep. (TIF)
Data
Supplement experiments. A. Control experiments (Base-SD and Int-SD) were run similarly to the Base and Int experiment described in the main text. For Base/Int-SD the animals were deprived of sleep during the consolidation window after encoding with gentle handling instead of novelty exposure to isolate its effect. B. There was no significant differ...
Data
Visual illustration of the cluster analysis (Base experiment). (From left to right): Dwell Time Map, filtered Dwell Time Map, locations of peak activity (local maxima), peak locations displayed on Dwell Time Map. Automated cluster assignments of peak locations, point to center distances (PtoC), point to point distances (PtoP), cluster area (convex...
Article
Knowledge extracted across previous experiences, or schemas, benefit encoding and retention of congruent information. However, they can also reduce specificity and augment memory for semantically related, but false information. A demonstration of the latter is given by the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm, where the studying of words that fi...
Article
Examples from the last decade of neuroscience research point to an increase in international collaborations, big consortia, global data gathering, and the development of atlases and databases. How might global initiatives coordinate conceptual breakthroughs and promote discoveries without taking away from the freedom of individual labs? Scientists...
Article
This cover image corresponds to the commentary Hippocampus 25 by Howard Eichenbaum et al., DOI: 10.1002/hipo.22616. Design Credit: Jarret Frank.
Article
It is a curious feature of studies of recognition memory that the experimental subjects are almost always tested alone. They may be asked to scan a set of landscape pictures and later recognize having seen them before or to study a set of words or faces. For a social species such as ourselves—and mammals in general—being tested alone is a curious s...
Data
Extended Data Figure S2 | Specificity and expression rate of Cre-inducible AAV in VTA and LC of Th-Cre mice a, Schematic of viral injection. b–e, Double immunofluorescence for eYFP (green) and TH (red). In VTA (b, c) and LC (d, e), most eYFP-expressing cells are positive for TH (asterisks), and eYFP expression in TH− cells (arrows) is only occasion...
Data
Extended Data Figure S3 | Firing properties of VTA-TH+ and LC-TH+ neurons a, b, Average spontaneous (black) and light-evoked (blue) waveforms of all identified VTA-TH+ neurons in Th-Cre mice expressing ChR2-eYFP in VTA (a, n = 15 neurons from 5 mice) and LC-TH+ neurons in Th-Cre mice expressing ChR2-eYFP in LC (b, n = 10 neurons from 3 mice) show n...
Data
Extended Data Figure S5 | Retrograde tracing with retrobeads Representative images of coronal sections containing VTA (a, b) and LC (c, d) showing TH+ (green) neurons labelled with retrobeads (red) in LC, but not in VTA. CA1 and CA3, hippocampal subregions CA1 and CA3; DG, dentate gyrus; LC, locus coeruleus; MPB, medial parabrachial nucleus; SNc, S...
Data
Extended Data Figure S8 | Rebound activation after optogenetic inhibition of LC-TH+ neurons a, In vivo optrode recordings of eArch3.0-expressing LC-TH+ neurons in anaesthetised Th-Cre mice. Left, complete inhibition of multi-unit activity in LC during the 5 min ‘532-nm light on’ period [example trace and population data (n = 9 traces from 5 mice)],...
Data
Extended Data Figure S7 | ChR2-eYFP expression in LC-TH+ neurons of Th-Cre mice and optogenetic stimulation protocols for ex vivo hippocampal electrophysiology (Fig. 5) a, Representative images of double immunofluorescence for eYFP (green) and TH (red) in LC cell bodies (top) and LC axons in CA1 (bottom) in the strain of Th-Cre mice used for ex viv...
Data
Extended Data Figure S9 | Performance during training and probe tests in the pharmacological inactivation experiment (Fig. 6) a, Th-Cre mice (n = 15) acquired the task over several weeks of training and maintained stable performance from session (S) 35 until the end of training (S35 to S90: F10,140 < 1, P > 0.05]. Pre, pre-training. b, Mice showed...
Data
Extended Data Figure S1 | Everyday spatial memory task in the event arena a, Example sandwell locations (black circles) and starting positions (black arrows) used during regular training and non-rewarded probe tests (PTs). Sixteen different sandwell configurations were used throughout experiments, with daily rewarded sandwell positions counterbalan...
Data
Extended Data Figure S4 | NET is specifically expressed in LC-TH+ neurons a, Immunofluorescence showing overall distribution of TH (red) and NET (green) immunoreactivity in the mouse hippocampus. b, Representative high magnification images of double immunofluorescence for TH (red) and NET (green). Note that most TH+ axons are co-labelled for NET, a...
Data
Extended Data Figure S6 | Performance during training and probe tests in the optogenetic activation experiment (Fig. 4) a, ChR2-expressing LC-TH+ and VTA-TH+ neurons reliably follow 25-Hz blue light stimulation in awake mice. b, ChR2+ mice (n = 8) and ChR2− controls (n = 6) both acquired the task over several weeks of training and maintained except...
Article
Full-text available
The retention of episodic-like memory is enhanced, in humans and animals, when something novel happens shortly before or after encoding. Using an everyday memory task in mice, we sought the neurons mediating this dopamine-dependent novelty effect, previously thought to originate exclusively from the tyrosine-hydroxylase-expressing (TH(+)) neurons i...
Article
The journal Hippocampus has passed the milestone of 25 years of publications on the topic of a highly studied brain structure, and its closely associated brain areas. In a recent celebration of this event, a Boston memory group invited 16 speakers to address the question of progress in understanding the hippocampus that has been achieved. Here we p...
Article
Persistent long-term memory depends on successful stabilization and integration of new memories after initial encoding [1, 2]. This consolidation process is thought to require neuromodulatory factors such as dopamine, noradrenaline, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor [3-7]. Without the release of such factors around the time of encoding, memorie...
Article
Full-text available
Earlier diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease would greatly benefit from the identification of biomarkers at the prodromal stage. Using a prominent animal model of aspects of the disease, we here show using clinically relevant methodologies that very young, pre-pathological PDAPP mice, which overexpress mutant human amyloid precursor prote...
Chapter
Memory is fundamental to human life. Qualitatively distinct types of memory enable us to change behavior in response to experience, to acquire and use a repository of knowledge, to recollect events from the past, and to plan for the future. In many respects, memory defines human individuality, as the memories of one person are necessarily different...
Article
This chapter chronicles the personal account of the development and refinement of the spatial navigation task, now known as the watermaze. The watermaze began at the Gatty Marine Laboratory at St Andrews, once famous for its work on the neurobiology of various marine animals, in the laboratory of Richard Morris. In the late 1970s, walking past tank...
Chapter
Long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic connectivity is theorized to be a physiological correlate of memory formation. Changes in synaptic strength, as well as their maintenance, depend on a network of chemical interactions that occur both locally at the synapse and across the dendrites, axons, and nucleus of the neuron. The Calmodulin Kinase (CaM...
Article
Full-text available
Conscious memory for a new experience is initially dependent on information stored in both the hippocampus and neocortex. Systems consolidation is the process by which the hippocampus guides the reorganization of the information stored in the neocortex such that it eventually becomes independent of the hippocampus. Early evidence for systems consol...
Article
Full-text available
David Marr's theory of the archicortex, a brain structure now more commonly known as the hippocampus and hippocampal formation, is an epochal contribution to theoretical neuroscience. Addressing the problem of how information about 10 000 events could be stored in the archicortex during the day so that they can be retrieved using partial informatio...
Article
Full-text available
Given the central role of hippocampal function in spatial and episodic memory, the concept of enhancing it when compromised is attractive. This might be realised behaviourally, pharmacologically or via more radical routes such as brain stimulation. Successful approaches in each of these domains include trial-spacing, rest, and NMDA or cholinergic r...
Article
The award of the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 2014 for the discovery of place and grid cells was both a personal award to three great scientists and also a mark of the maturity of systems neuroscience as a discipline. This article offers both personal and scientific reflections on these discoveries, detailing both how getting to know al...
Article
How and where hippocampal-neocortical interactions required for memory formation take place is a major issue of current research. Using a combined in vivo functional magnetic resonance imaging/electrophysiology approach, we have investigated whether specific frequencies of CA3 neuronal activation, inducing different forms of short-term plasticity a...
Article
Full-text available
Networks of interconnected neocortical representations of prior knowledge, "schemas," facilitate memory for congruent information. This facilitation is thought to be mediated by augmented encoding and accelerated consolidation. However, it is less clear how schema affects retrieval. Rodent and human studies to date suggest that schema-related memor...
Article
Full-text available
Sophisticated genetic tools that make brain cells responsive to light have now been used in mice to trigger a memory connected with a particular place, and to switch its association from negative to positive, or vice versa. See Letter p. 426
Article
Canonical models suggest that mechanisms of long-term memory consist of a synapse-specific, protein synthesis-independent induction phase (changes in synaptic weights/temporary tagging of such synapses) and, within adjacent dendritic compartments, a protein synthesis-dependent distribution phase that may accompany or immediately precede induction a...