Synaptic connections in the brain are continuously weakened or strengthened in response to specific changes in neuronal activity. This process, known as synaptic plasticity, is the cellular basis for learning and memory, and is impaired in several brain disorders. Despite their important function in synaptic plasticity, the molecular mechanisms coordinating AMPA-R trafficking and cytoskeletal remodeling during synaptic plasticity are still not fully understood. The overarching aim of this project is to gain insight into molecular mechanisms that orchestrate AMPA receptor trafficking and activity-dependent structural spine changes during bidirectional synaptic plasticity at excitatory synapses. Towards this end, we will combine a number of state of the art techniques including molecular manipulations, biochemical assays, subcellular localization studies, live cell imaging, and electrophysiological recordings. This project is a cooperation with Dr. Angelika Hausser (Institute of Cell Biology and Immunology).