creativity and extraordinary cognition


In our studies of the mechanistic underpinnings of extraordinary problem solving, we have studied different strains of mice with dramatic enhancements in learning and memory.

Understanding enhancements in learning and memory will be key to understanding extraordinary problem solving. Insights into extraordinary learning and memory will lead us a step closer to a mechanistic understanding of the biological processes responsible for historically creative achievements.

Insights into extraordinary cognition may also lead to general treatments for cognitive deficits.

Key Publications:

Miou Zhou Stuart Greenhill Shan Huang Tawnie K Silva Yoshitake Sano Shumin Wu Ying Cai Yoshiko Nagaoka Megha Sehgal Denise J Cai Yong-Seok Lee Kevin Fox Alcino J Silva. CCR5 is a suppressor for cortical plasticity and hippocampal learning and memory. DOI:; Published December 20, 2016; Cite as eLife 2016;10.7554/eLife.20985 (PDF)

Kushner, S.A., Y. Elgersma, G.G. Murphy, D. Jaarsma, G.M. van Woerden, M.R. Hojjati, Y. Cui, J.C. LeBoutillier, D.F. Marrone, E.S. Choi, C.I. De Zeeuw, T.L. Petit, L. Pozzo-Miller, and A.J. Silva, Modulation of presynaptic plasticity and learning by the H-ras/extracellular signal-regulated kinase/synapsin I signaling pathway. J Neurosci, 2005. 25(42): p. 9721-34. (

Elgersma, Y., N. Fedorov, S. Ikonen, E. Choi, M. Elgersma, O. Carvalho, K. Giese, and A. Silva, Inhibitory autophosphorylation of CaMKII controls PSD association, plasticity and learning. Neuron, 2002. 36(3): p. 493-505.(PDF)

Murphy GG, Fedorov NB, Giese KP, Ohno M, Friedman E, Chen R, Silva AJ. Increased neuronal excitability, synaptic plasticity, and learning in aged Kvbeta1.1 knockout mice. Curr Biol. 2004 Nov 9;14(21):1907-15.(PDF)