In this episode Richard Lewis, news officer at the University of Iowa, speaks with Dr. Ted Abel, Professor at the University of Iowa and Director of the Iowa Neuroscience Institute. As a trained biochemist and molecular biologist, the work in Dr. Abel’s lab focuses on using mouse models to understand the molecular mechanisms of memory storage and the molecular basis of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. Here, you’ll hear Ted discuss how memories are formed through complex pathways involving the interactions of neurochemicals, genes, and neurons themselves, as well as how these pathways interact during periods of wakefulness and sleep to affect memory consolidation. He also discusses how his family’s experience with autism and work through the Iowa Neuroscience Institute, which he founded, is helping him and other researchers to understand various aspects of autism, including that which endows some autistic individuals with exceptional abilities.
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