Eva Pastalkova

2009 Regional Award Winner — Post-Doc

Eva Pastalkova

Current Position:
Group Leader

Janelia Farm and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (Previously at Rutgers University)


Recognized for: Work on mechanisms responsible for the coordination of neuronal activity in the hippocampus during spatial navigation

Areas of Research Interest and Expertise: Cognitive neuroscience, hippocampus, neuronal plasticity, neurobiology and brain physiology


PhD, Neuroscience, Charles University, Czech Republic
MSc, Neuroscience, Charles University, Czech Republic

Dr. Eva Pastalkova analyzes the functional properties of neurons within their networks and seeks to define how individual cells contribute to neuronal circuits, exchange information, and ultimately govern behavior.  She focuses on the mechanisms of internally organized activity in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that plays an important role in long-term memory and spatial navigation. 

In the absence of environmental stimuli, specific brain regions continuously generate self-organized assembly sequences of neuronal activity.  These internally organized cell assembly sequences are thought to be the basis of cognitive functions.  Dr. Pastalkova uses a rodent model to observe brain activity during memory tasks in environments with varying external stimuli.  She has shown that the hippocampus can internally organize its activity into evolving sequences when an animal is engaged in an episodic memory task.  Dr. Pastalkova is also interested in understanding brain activity during sleep and its relationship with memories acquired during the performance of behavioral tasks.  She has helped refine innovative approaches that are necessary to study the complex coordination of rhythmic activity in the brain using probes to record activity in the hippocampus. 

"The hippocampus is the region of the brain that controls spatial and episodic memory. I study how the activity of neurons in the hippocampus is organized while a laboratory rat performs a cognitive task that will become part of its memory."

Key Publications:

  1. Grosmark AD, Mizuseki K, Pastalkova E, Diba K, Buzsáki G.  REM sleep reorganizes hippocampal excitability.  Neuron. 2012
  2. Geisler C, Diba K, Pastalkova E, Mizuseki K, Royer S, Buzsáki G.  Temporal delays among place cells determine the frequency of population theta oscillations in the hippocampus.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010
  3. Pastalkova E, Itskov V, Amarasingham A, Buzsáki G.  Internally generated cell assembly sequences in the rat hippocampus.  Science. 2008
  4. Pastalkova E, Serrano P, Pinkhasova D, Wallace E, Fenton AA, Sacktor TC.  Storage of spatial information by the maintenance mechanism of LTP.  Science. 2006