8th Annual Zach Hall Lecture - Lecture by John O'Keefe

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 1:00pm to 5:30pm

Mayer Auditorium
1975 Zonal Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90089

The annual Zach Hall Lecture is an academic lecture event honoring Zach W. Hall PhD, in recognition of his leadership, dedication and scientific vision for the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

This year's lecture features John O'Keefe, PhD. 

John O’Keefe FRS is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London where he works in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour. He is the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (2014). 

Prof John O’Keefe is interested in the role of the hippocampal formation in spatial memory and navigation. Using extracellular recording in behaving rats, he discovered that hippocampal pyramidal cells respond selectively to an animal’s spatial location.  The discovery of ‘place cells’ suggested that this part of the brain might function as a cognitive map, a notion developed extensively by himself and Nadel in a book published in 1978. In 1993, Recce and O’Keefe reported that, in addition to the place cell firing rate, the code for location was based on the timing of spikes referenced to the 7-11 Hz hippocampal theta rhythm. He suggested this phase precession effect might be due to interference wavelets produced by the summation of 2 theta- like oscillators of differing frequencies. With Burgess and Barry, he has extended this model to 2 spatial dimensions and shown how this extended model accounts for the firing fields of entorhinal cortical grid cells. In recent work he has shown that the firing fields of the grid cells can be modified by alterations of the enclosure geometry.


 Schedule of events:

1:00 PM Poster Session, Herklotz Seminar Room (Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute

3:00 PM Zach Hall Lecture featuring speaker John Michael O'Keefe, Mayer Auditorium (Keith Administration Building)

4:30 PM Wine and Cheese Reception


To ESVP please go to http://events.usc.edu/esvp/ and enter in ESVP code 2017ZachHall

Please contact zni@usc.edu if you have any questions.

Event Type

Lecture / Talk / Workshop


Students, Alumni, Faculty/Staff


Health Sciences Campus


global, ensuringlifespan, globalengagement

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