Dr. Bruce McNaughton

Name: Bruce McNaughton

Phone: 403.394.3909

E-mail: bruce.mcnaughton@uleth.ca

Office: EP1242

Lab: EP1213

PhD (Cum Laude) Psychology, Dalhousie University
MSc Biology, Carleton University
BSc (Honours, First Class) Biology, Carleton University

Website: http://lethbridgebraindynamics.com/

Lethbridge Brain Dynamics offers opportunity to those interested in advancing research in the area of Neuroscience. It is a goal to make the group larger and more dynamic.


Dr. McNaughton’s research focuses on the physiological and computational basis of cognition, with particular focus on memory and memory disorders, and the dynamic interactions among neuronal populations and synaptic plasticity mechanisms that underlie these phenomena. He has made significant contributions to the understanding of central synaptic plasticity mechanisms, spatial information processing in the hippocampal formation and cortex, cortico-hippocampal interactions and memory consolidation, and the aging of the nervous system. His current activities focus on understanding the neural mechanisms underlying spatial orientation (‘head-direction’, ‘place’, and ‘grid’ cells in the hippocampal formation and associated networks), the interaction between hippocampal outflow and neocortical signal processing, the reactivation of memory traces during rest periods following learning and the role of this process in memory consolidation, and the self-organization of synaptic networks during early post-natal development of the temporal lobe memory system. He is also engaged in preclinical studies involving altered signal processing in animal models of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease and early detection of seizures in medial temporal lobe epilepsy. His work emphasizes the development and application of advanced technologies in neuroscience including high density electrophysiological recording and optical imaging of neural activity at cellular and network levels.

Throughout his career he has been involved in the development and application of new conceptual approaches and innovative technologies to neuroscience research questions and has made numerous contributions in theoretical/computational neuroscience. He was the originator of the ‘tetrode’ concept, which is the currently most widely used technology for simultaneous recording from large numbers of single brain cells in behaving animals, and which has opened an unprecedented new window on understanding brain mechanisms of cognitive processing and their disorders due to aging, brain disease, substance abuse, developmental disorders and brain trauma. More recently, he has played a key role in the development of two-time point functional neural imaging at cellular resolution based on activity dependent expression of multiple immediate-early genes.

He currently directly supervises 6 postdoctoral fellows, and 8 graduate students, and also directs the Polaris Brain Dynamics research group within CCBN (http://lethbridgebraindynamics.com). He has been a mentor to over 30 graduate and postdoctoral students who have gone on to successful research careers at major research institutions. His research is supported by a $20M/10 year Polaris Award and personnel awards from Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions, and grants from NSERC and the European Commission.


Yang, Z., Krause, M., Rao, G., McNaughton, B.L. and Barnes, C.A. (2008) Synaptic commitment: Developmentally-regulated reciprocal changes in hippocampal granule cell NMDA and AMPA receptors over the lifespan. Journal of Neurophysiology, 99:2760-2768 .

Marrone, D.F., Schaner, M.J., McNaughton, B.L., Worley, P.F., and Barnes, C.A. (2008) Immediate-early gene expression at rest recapitulates recent experience. The Journal of Neuroscience, 28:1030-1033.

Euston, D.R., Tatsuno, M., and McNaughton, B.L. (2007) Fast-forward playback of recent memory sequences in prefrontal cortex during sleep. Science, 318:1147-1150.

Kruskal, P.B., Stanis, J.J., McNaughton, B.L., and Thomas, P.J. (2007) A binless correlation measure reduces the variability of memory reactivation estimates. Statistics in Medicine, 26:3997-4008.

Lansink, C.S., Bakker, M., Buster, W., Lankelma, J., van der Blom, R., Westdorp, R., Joosten, R.N.J.M.A., McNaughton, B.L., and Pennartz, C.M.A. (2007) A split microdrive for simultaneous multi-electrode recordings from two brain areas in awake small animals. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 162:129-138.

Skaggs, W.E., McNaughton, B.L., Permenter, M., Archibeque, M., Vogt, J., Amaral, D.G., and Barnes, C.A. (2007) EEG sharp waves and sparse ensemble unit activity in the macaque hippocampus. Journal of Neurophysiology, 98:898-910.

Maurer, A.P. and McNaughton, B.L. (2007) Network and intrinsic cellular mechanisms underlying theta phase precession of hippocampal neurons. Trends in Neurosciences, 7:325-333.

Cowen, S.L. and McNaughton, B.L. (2007) Selective delay activity in the medial prefrontal cortex of the rat: Contribution of sensorimotor information and contingency. Journal of Neurophysiology, 98:303-316.

Sutherland, V.L., Timlin, J.A., Neiman, L.T., Guzowski, J.F., Chawla, M.K., Worley, P.F., Roysam, B., McNaughton, B.L., Sinclair, M.B., and Barnes, C.A. (2007) Advanced imaging of multiple mRNAs in brain tissue using a custom hyperspectral imager and multivariate curve resolution. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 160:144-148.

Maurer, A.P., Cowen, S.L., Burke, S.N., Barnes, C.A. and McNaughton, B.L. (2006) Phase precession in hippocampal interneurons showing strong functional coupling to individual pyramidal cells. The Journal of Neuroscience, 26:13485-13492.

Euston, D.R. and McNaughton, B.L. (2006) Apparent encoding of sequential context in rat medial prefrontal cortex is accounted for by behavioral variability. The Journal of Neuroscience, 26:13143-13155.

Robbe, D., Montgomery, S.M., Thome, A., Rueda-Orozco, P.E., McNaughton, B.L., and Buzsaki, G. (2006) Cannabinoids reveal importance of spike timing coordination in hippocampal function. Nature Neuroscience, 9:1526-1533.

Tatsuno, M., Lipa, P., & McNaughton, B.L. (2006) Methodological considerations on the use of template matching to study long-lasting memory trace replay. The Journal of Neuroscience, 26:10727-10742.

McNaughton, B.L., Battaglia, F.P., Jensen, O., Moser, E.I., and Moser, M-B. (2006) Path-integration and the neural basis of the 'cognitive map'. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 7:663:678.

Sargolini, F., Fyhn, M., Hafting, T., McNaughton, B.L., Witter, M.P., Moser, M-B. and Moser, E.I. (2006) Conjunctive representation of position, direction and velocity in entorhinal cortex. Science, 312:758-762.

Maurer, A.P., Cowen, S.L., Burke, S.N., Barnes, C.A. and McNaughton, B.L. (2006) Organization of hippocampal cell assemblies based on theta phase precession. Hippocampus, 16:785-794.

Guzowski, J.F., Miyashita, T., Chawla, M.K., Sanderson, J., Maes, L.I., Houston, F.P., Lipa, P., McNaughton, B.L., Worley, P.F., and Barnes, C.A. (2006) Recent behavioral history modifies coupling between cell activity and Arc gene transcription in hippocampal CA1 neurons. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 103:1077-1082.

Takashima, A., Petersson, K.M., Rutters, F., Tendolkar, I., Jensen, O., Zwarts, M.J., McNaughton, B.L., and Fernandez, G. (2006) Declarative memory consolidation in humans: A prospective functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 103:756-761.

Ito, R., Robbins, T.W., McNaughton, B.L., and Everitt, B.J. (2006) Selective excitotoxic lesions of the hippocampus and basolateral amygdala have dissociable effects on appetitive cue and place conditioning based on path integration in a novel Y-maze procedure. European Journal of Neuroscience 23:3071-3080.

Fuhs, M.C., VanRhoads, S.R., Casale, A.E., McNaughton, B.L. and Touretzky, D.S. (2005) Influence of path integration vs. environment orientation on place cell remapping between visually identical environments. Journal of Neurophysiology, 94:2603-2616.

Maurer, A.P., VanRhoads, S.R., Sutherland, G.R., Lipa, P. and McNaughton, B.L. (2005) Self-motion and the origin of differential scaling along the septo-temporal axis of the hippocampus. Hippocampus, 15:841-852.

Guzowski, J.F., Timlin, J.A., Roysam, B., McNaughton, B.L., Worley, P.F. and Barnes, C.A. (2005) Mapping behaviorally relevant neural circuits with immediate-early gene expression. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 15:599-606.

Leutgeb, J.K., Leutgeb, S., Treves, A., Meyer, R., Barnes, C.A., McNaughton, B.L., Moser, M.-B. and Moser, E.I. (2005) Progressive transformation of hippocampal neuronal representations in 'morphed' environments. Neuron, 48:345-358.

Battaglia, F.P., Sutherland, G.R., Cowen, S.L., McNaughton, B.L. and Harris, K.D. (2005) Firing rate modulation: A simple statistical view of memory trace reactivation. Neural Networks, 18:1280-1291.

Moser, E.I., Moser, M-B., Lipa, P., Newton, M., Houston, F.P., Barnes, C.A., and McNaughton, B.L. (2005) A test of the retrospective activity hypothesis for hippocampal 'place' cells. Neuroscience, 130:519-526.

Bower, M.R., Euston, D.R., McNaughton, B.L. (2005) Sequential-context-dependent hippocampal activity is not necessary to learn sequences with repeated elements, The Journal of Neuroscience, 25:1313-1323.

Burke, S.N., Chawla, M.K., Penner, M.R., Crowell, B.E., Worley, P.F., Barnes, C.A., and McNaughton, B.L. (2005) Differential encoding of behavior and spatial context in deep and superficial layers of the neocortex. Neuron, 45:667-674.

Chawla, M.K., Guzowski, J.F., Ramirez-Amaya, V., Lipa, P., Hoffman, K.L., Marriott, L.K., Worley, P.F., McNaughton, B.L. and Barnes, C.A. (2005) Sparse, environmentally selective expression of Arc RNA in the upper blade of the rodent fascia dentate by brief spatial experience. Hippocampus, 15:579-586.

Leutgeb, S., Leutgeb, J.K., Barnes, C.A., Moser, E.I., McNaughton, B.L. & Moser, M.-B. (2005) Independent codes for spatial and episodic memory in hippocampal neuronal ensembles. Science, 309:619-623.

Terrazas, A., Krause, M., Gothard, K.M., McNaughton, B.L. and Barnes, C.A. (2005) Self-motion and the hippocampal spatial metric. The Journal of Neuroscience, 25:8085-8096.