LAB NEWS     (Lots more to come in the next few months!)


The main goal of our lab is to understand how the brain supports our ability to temporally organize our memories, as well as how this capacity is affected in cognitive disorders. We use a multi-technique approach, combining inactivation and high-density electrophysiological recordings techniques, as rats perform complex memory tasks (comparable to those used in humans). At this time, our work primarily focuses on investigating the role of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in the memory for sequences of events, as well as their functional interactions with associated structures.

Welcome to our lab webpage

09/05/2019   Leila’s second paper was just accepted in Behavioural Brain Research. Nice behavioral study showing that hippocampal, prefrontal or perirhinal lesions impair incidental order memory for trial-unique series of events. Congrats Leila!

09/03/2019   Lingge and Dustin’s paper was accepted at the prestigious NeurIPS conference! They show successful decoding of trial types using only the LFP signal (collaboration with Shahbaba, Ombao and Baldi groups at UCI). See the archived paper here.

07/16/2019   Shiwei’s paper on dynamic modeling of correlation and covariance matrices to compare LFP activity across task conditions has been accepted in Bayesian Analysis (collaboration with Shahbaba and Ombao labs at UCI). See the archived paper here.

12/01/2018   Just received the good news that we’ll be awarded another multi-PI R01, this one with Dr. Metherate’s group at UCI. Our goal is to extend our experimental approaches to the auditory domain, and quantify the effects of cognitive enhancers at the neural level. Very impressed with the reviewers’ thoroughness... kudos!.

09/19/2018   Xu Gao’s paper on evolutionary state-space modeling of LFP activity is now in press at Statistica Sinica (collaboration with Ombao, Shahbaba and Shen labs at UCI). See it here!

03/05/2018   Our first multi-PI R01 with Drs. Shahbaba and Ombao in Statistics! The goal is to develop novel Bayesian analytical tools for our multidimensional electrophysiological datasets in rodents performing complex memory tasks. See the story here!

12/17/2017   Lechuan Hu’s paper on modeling high dimensional multichannel brain signals now appears in Statistics in Biosciences (collaboration with Hernando Ombao’s lab)

11/12/2017   Murad Aldoghmi, an undergraduate researcher in the lab, presented his first SfN poster this week. Excellent job surviving your first SfN Murad! It’s a rite of passage.  :-)

10/28/2017   Our paper examining nonspatial sequence coding along the CA1 transverse axis is out in Behavioural Brain Research. Congrats Damon (aka Chi-Wing)! Check it out here.

04/24/2017   Mawaheb's undergraduate thesis was the winning paper for Excellent Academic Writing in Science and Technology (an Upper-Division Writing Award)! Congrats Mawaheb!

04/22/2017   Nur Mirza and Murad Aldoghmi presented their poster at the West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference (WCBSURC) at Santa Clara University this weekend. They won the Best Poster Award for Neurobiology! Big congrats to Nur and Murad, as well as to Judith for her advising skills!

02/10/2017   Our chapter on “Memory for Space, Time and Episodes” (Asem & Fortin) just came out in Elsevier’s popular “Learning and Memory: A Comprehensive Reference (J. Byrne Editor)” series. Check it out here.

02/07/2017   Our first paper in collaboration with the Shahbaba group at UCI just came out in the journal Stat. It’s about a new approach to simultaneous decode LFP and spike trains using our hippocampal recording data in rats performing the sequence memory task. Looking forward to a long productive relationship! Check out the paper here.

02/03/2016   Our paper demonstrating nonspatial sequence memory coding in CA1 neurons just came out in the Journal of Neuroscience. Special thanks to Tim, Sam and Dan for their efforts. It was a long time coming but it was worth it. Hopefully, this is only the beginning of an exciting research program using this approach. Check out the paper here and the nice feature from the journal here.

08/01/2015   Judith Asem is starting her postdoc in the lab, completing the FortinLab 2.0 reboot. I couldn’t be happier about our team - expect great things over the next few years! ;-)

07/31/2015   Sadly, this is Tim and Leila’s last week in the lab. Tim will be setting up his own lab at Florida International University ( Best of luck in Miami, guys!

07/17/2015   Chi-Wing (Damon) Ng is starting his postdoc in the lab. Welcome Damon!

07/01/2015   Gabriel Elias is starting his postdoc in the lab. Welcome Gabe!

05/29/2015   Leila nailed her thesis defense. Congrats Dr. Feinberg!!!

05/28/2015   Officially received the positive tenure decision from the Chancellor’s office. Special thanks to all lab folks for their hard work over the last 6 years and to my family and colleagues for their support.

02/25/2015   Our paper showing that the memory for sequences of events is impaired in typical aging (in humans) just came out in Learning & Memory. This is the second paper from our cross-species collaboration with the Stark lab. Hopefully, this approach will become a useful tool for characterizing cognitive trajectories in aging and dementia.   PDF

08/01/2014   The Fortin and Stark labs have been awarded another grant from NSF to support our cross-species work

05/07/2014   Our cross-species sequence memory task paper is out in Hippocampus  PDF

03/07/2014   Leila successfully advanced to PhD candidacy. Congrats Leila!

11/26/2013   Scientific American just published an article on Nate and Tim’s paper. Check out the article here!

09/30/2013   Our review article has been accepted in Timing and Time Perception. Details to come...

09/29/2013   Rebecca Stevenson is starting her rotation in the lab. Welcome Rebecca!

09/27/2013   Our Letter to the Editor is now published in PNAS.  PDF

08/21/2013   Nate and Tim’s paper just came out in the Journal of Neuroscience. Congrats guys!   PDF

06/14/2013   Our review paper “The Evolution of Episodic Memory” came out in PNAS.  PDF

06/12/2013   Owen received the “Friends of the CNLM Summer Award for Undergraduates” to support his research over the summer. Congrats Owen!

03/07/2013   Clare received the Excellence in Research distinction AND the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research. Well deserved!!!

01/15/2013   Clare, Andrew, Owen, and Philip were awarded UROP grants for their research proposals. Congrats guys!

05/21/2012   Tim was awarded the prestigious Roger W. Russell Scholar’s Award from the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (CNLM). Way to go Tim!!!

05/21/2012   Clare was awarded the CNLM summer research undergraduate award! Congrats Clare!

05/19/2012   Clare, Nathan and Stephanie presented a great poster at the UCI UROP symposium. Karthik’s poster received a special nomination. Clare and Anthony also gave excellent oral presentations. Good job guys! [see Pictures]

04/01/2012   The lab has been awarded a 5-year CAREER award from NSF.

03/31/2012   Ourania Petasis is beginning her rotation in the lab. Welcome!

03/03/2012   Anthony won first prize for undergraduate presentations at the 23rd OCGWIS Science Conference. Congrats Anthony! [see Pictures]

02/03/2012   The lab has been awarded an Alzheimer’s Disease Pilot Project Award from the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory

01/10/2012   Nate, Clare and Stephanie all received UROP awards! Congratulations!

01/04/2012   Andre White is beginning his rotation in the lab. Welcome Andre!

08/22/2011   Congratulations to Leila, Tim and Denise! Their paper has been accepted in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.   PDF

05/13/2011   Leila successfully defended her master thesis. Congratulations!

05/17/2010   The lab has been awarded a 3-year research grant from the Whitehall Foundation.