Richard Morris

Lab Members (PostDocs)
Dr. Vassilis Beglopoulos
Dr. Adrian Duszkiewicz
Dr. Lisa Genzel
Dr. Janine Rossato
Dr. Tomonori Takeuchi
Dr. Dorothy Tse

Lab Members (Postgraduates)

Andrea Moreno

Lab Members (Support)

Patrick Spooner
Jane Tulloch



Professor Richard Morris, CBE, FRS
Professor of Neuroscience
Tel: +44(0) 131 650 3520/18



Lab Webpage


Research Interests
Understanding memory is one of the “Grand Challenges” of contemporary neuroscience.  My research group is endeavouring to play a part in the worldwide endeavour by neuroscientists to understand the making, keeping and losing of memory. 
With respect to ‘making’ and ‘keeping’ memory, our overriding goal is on developing a neurobiological account of the functions of the hippocampal formation in memory.  Whereas past work has focused on the role of activity-dependent plasticity (such as LTP and LTD) in memory encoding, the current focus of my group’s work is on (a) the impact of subcortical neuromodulatory inputs in cellular consolidation (using pharmacological and optogenetic techniques) and (b) interactions between the hippocampus and neocortex in systems consolidation (with Santiago Canals, Instituto de Neurociencias, Alicante). Over the years, the main developments and discoveries of the lab include the ‘watermaze’, the role of NMDA receptors in spatial learning, and the co-development of the synaptic tagging and capture hypothesis of long-term potentiation (with Julie Frey – Medical College of Georgia). Exciting new work focuses on the creation and use of ‘schemas’ and the place of prior knowledge in systems consolidation (with Guillen Fernandez, Donders Institute, Nijmegen).

With respect to the ‘losing’ of memory, we have also had interests in translational neuroscience – and are engaged in adapting some of our novel behavioural tasks for work on cognitive function in animal models of neurodegeneration such as Alzheimer’s Disease.  This work is now being taken forward by the new Chancellor’s Fellows in the Centre.

Key Publications
Morris, RGM (2006) Elements of a neurobiological theory of hippocampal function: the role of synaptic- plasticity, synaptic tagging and schemas.  The EJN Award Lecture.  European Journal of Neuroscience, 23: 2829-2846. Abstract/reprint
Andersen P, Morris R G M, Bliss T V P, O'Keefe J and Amaral D (2007) The Hippocampus Book, Oxford University Press, pp 836.
Morris, RGM (2008) Morris watermaze. Scholarpedia, 3(8): 6315. On-line
Tse D, Takeuchi T, Kakeyma M, Kajii Y, Okuno H, Tohyama C, Bito H and Morris RGM  (2011) Schema-Dependent gene activation and Memory Encoding in Neocortex.  Science, 333: 891-895. Abstract/reprint
Dudai Y and Morris RGM (2013) Memorable Trends. Neuron, 80: 742-750. Abstract/reprint
Morris RGM (2013) NMDA receptors and memory encoding. Neuropharmacology, 74: 32-40. Abstract/reprint
Van Kesteren, MTR et al (2013) Building on prior knowledge: Schema-dependent encoding processes relate to academic performance. J Cognitive Neuroscience, 26: 2250-2261.
Squire LR, Genzel, L, Wixted JT and Morris RGM (2016) Memory Consolidation. In Learning and Memory (Eds. Kandel, E, Dudai, Y and Mayford M). Cold Spring Habor Lab Press.

Funding Sources
Formerly funded by the Medical Research Council.  The lab is now funded by The Royal Society, the European Research Council, the European Union, Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy, Dart Neuroscience (San Diego) and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharmaceutical Company (Yokohama).

You can access a short biography by clicking here.