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Eric Kandel

Eric R. Kandel, M.D.

University Professor & Kavli Professor of Brain Science, Director, The Kavli Institute for Brain Science
Co-director, The Mind Brain Behavior Initiative, Senior Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
NYSPI, Unit 21
Tel +1 212-543-5202

Area of Research

Biophysics/Ion Channels, Synapses & Circuits, Neurobiology of Learning & Memory, Animal Models of Psychiatric Disorders, Neurogenetics


Molecular biology of long term memory storage: Initiation and maintenance of synaptic growth; Examination of features shared in simple forms of learning and memory in the Aplysia nervous system and in the mammalian hippocampus.


We combine behavioral, cellular, and molecular biological approaches to delineate the changes that underlie simple forms of learning and memory in invertebrates and vertebrates. In invertebrates the focus of our research is on the gill-withdrawal reflex of Aplysia. We study three elementary forms of learning: habituation, sensitization, and classical conditioning. Recently we have reconstituted critical components of this learning in dissociated cell culture, and we now use the reconstituted system to examine the molecular mechanisms which contribute to short- and long-term memory.

In vertebrates we use genetically modified mice to examine the mechanisms of long-term potentiation in the mammalian hippocampus and its relation to spacial memory and maintenance. 


Malleret G, Alarcon JM, Martel G, Takizawa S, Vronskaya S, Yin D, Chen IZ, Kandel ER, Shumyatsky GP. Bidirectional regulation of hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity and its influence on opposing forms of memory. Journal of Neuroscience 30: 3813-25.

Akil, H., Brenner, S., Kandel, E.R., Kendler, K.S., King, M-C., Scolnick, E., Watson, J.D., and Zoghbi, H.Y. (2010). The future of psychiatric research: Genomes and neural circuits. Science 327:1580-1581.

Simpson, E.H., Kellendonk, C., and Kandel, E.R. (2010). A possible role for the striatum in the pathogenesis of the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. Neuron 65:585-596.

Si, K., Choi, Y., White-Grindley, E., Majumbar, A., and Kandel, E.R. (2010). Aplysia CPEB can form prion-like multimers in sensory neurons that contribute to long-term facilitation. Cell 140:421-435.

Rajasethupathy, P., Fiumara, F., Sheridan, R., Betel, D., Puthanveettil, S.V., James J. Russo, J.J., Sander, C., Tuschl, T., and Kandel, E.R. (2009). Characterization of small RNAs in Aplysia reveals a role for miR-124 in constraining long-term synaptic plasticity through CREB. Neuron 66:803-817.

Kandel, E.R. (2009) The Biology of Memory: A Forty-Year Perspective. J Neurosci 29: 12748-12756.

Muzzio, I.A., Levita, L., Kulkarni, J., Monaco, J., Kentros, C., Stead, M., Abbott, L.F., and Kandel, E.R. (2009) Attention enhances the retrieval and stability of visuospatial and olfactory representations in the dorsal hippocampus. PLoS Biol 7(6).