Michael Eckert

Research Interests

Michael is currently working on two projects to investigate how the necortex encodes and stores memories. One project uses high-density electrophysiology to examine neural dynamics in the motor cortex of rats as they learn a skilled-reaching task. He is interested in how activity recorded during the task is replayed later during sleep, and especially whether there is reactivation during REM sleep.

The second project uses immediate early gene activity to investigate how the neocortex encodes spatial context and whether this encoding depends on the hippocampus.


Michael received his PhD in Ron Racine’s lab at McMaster University. His work focused on mechanisms of long-term potentiation in the neocortex. Following his degree, he did a postdoc with Cliff Abraham at the University of Otago where he studied the effects of enriched environments on hippocampal function and also sensory-induced long-term potentiation. In 2010, Michael joined the labs of Dr. Masami Tatsuno and Dr. Bruce McNaughton.


  • PhD – McMaster University
  • BSc – McMaster University

Recent Publications

  1. Eckert MJ, Abraham WC. Physiological effects of enriched environment exposure and LTP induction in the hippocampus in vivo do not transfer faithfully to in vitro slices. Learn Mem. 2010, 17:480-4.
  2. Eckert MJ, Bilkey DK, Abraham WC. Altered plasticity in hippocampal CA1, but not dentate gyrus, following long-term environmental enrichment. J Neurophysiol. 2010, 103:3320-9.
  3. Clapp WC, Eckert MJ, Teyler TJ, Abraham WC. Rapid visual stimulation induces N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-dependent sensory long-term potentiation in the rat cortex. Neuroreport. 2006, 17:511-5.
  4. Irvine GI, Logan B, Eckert M, Abraham WC. Enriched environment exposure regulates excitability, synaptic transmission, and LTP in the dentate gyrus of freely moving rats. Hippocampus. 2006, 16:149-60.
  5. Eckert MJ, Racine RJ. Long-term depression and associativity in rat primary motor cortex following thalamic stimulation. Eur J Neurosci. 2006, 24:3553-60.
  6. Eckert MJ, Racine RJ. Metabotropic glutamate receptors contribute to neocortical synaptic plasticity in vivo. Neuroreport. 2004, 15:2685-9.