Matthew A. Wilson

Matthew A. Wilson

Sherman Fairchild Professor of Neuroscience and Picower Scholar

Matthew Wilson studies rodent learning and memory by recording and manipulating the activity of neurons during behavior and sleep.





Neuroscience Complex



  • PhD, 1991, California Institute of Technology
  • BS, 1983, Electrical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Research Summary

Our laboratory studies the neural processes within the hippocampus and neocortex that enable memories to form and persist over time. We use a technique that allows us to simultaneously record the activity of hundreds of individual neurons across multiple brain regions in freely behaving animals. When combined with genetic, pharmacological and behavioral manipulations, these recordings allow us to gain a mechanistic understanding of how animals learn and remember.


  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow, 2012

Recent Publications

  1. How our understanding of memory replay evolves. Chen, ZS, Wilson, MA. 2023. J Neurophysiol 129, 552-580.
    doi: 10.1152/jn.00454.2022PMID:36752404
  2. Artificial intelligence insights into hippocampal processing. Wirtshafter, HS, Wilson, MA. 2022. Front Comput Neurosci 16, 1044659.
    doi: 10.3389/fncom.2022.1044659PMID:36419939
  3. Reversal learning: It's just a phase. Varela, C, Wilson, MA. 2022. Curr Biol 32, R849-R851.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2022.06.045PMID:35944488
  4. Lateral septum as a nexus for mood, motivation, and movement. Wirtshafter, HS, Wilson, MA. 2021. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 126, 544-559.
    doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.03.029PMID:33848512
  5. Dissociating Behavior and Spatial Working Memory Demands Using an H Maze. Wirtshafter, HS, Quan, M, Wilson, MA. 2021. Bio Protoc 11, e3947.
    doi: 10.21769/BioProtoc.3947PMID:33796621
  6. mPFC spindle cycles organize sparse thalamic activation and recently active CA1 cells during non-REM sleep. Varela, C, Wilson, MA. 2020. Elife 9, .
    doi: 10.7554/eLife.48881PMID:32525480
  7. A closed-loop, all-electronic pixel-wise adaptive imaging system for high dynamic range videography. Zhang, J, Newman, JP, Wang, X, Thakur, CS, Rattray, J, Etienne-Cummings, R, Wilson, MA. 2020. IEEE Trans Circuits Syst I Regul Pap 67, 1803-1814.
    doi: 10.1109/tcsi.2020.2973396PMID:36845010
  8. Differences in reward biased spatial representations in the lateral septum and hippocampus. Wirtshafter, HS, Wilson, MA. 2020. Elife 9, .
    doi: 10.7554/eLife.55252PMID:32452763
  9. Locomotor and Hippocampal Processing Converge in the Lateral Septum. Wirtshafter, HS, Wilson, MA. 2019. Curr Biol 29, 3177-3192.e3.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.07.089PMID:31543450
  10. Characteristics of CA1 place fields in a complex maze with multiple choice points. Tanila, H, Ku, S, Kloosterman, F, Wilson, MA. 2018. Hippocampus 28, 81-96.
    doi: 10.1002/hipo.22810PMID:29072798
More Publications



Photo Credit: Patrick Gillooly