Local Synaptic Changes During LTM
Professor Eric Kandel discusses changes in synapse structure during long-term memory. Research indicates these changes are synapse-specific and not neuron-wide.
An interesting question that has emerged in the study of long-term memory is, since long-term memory involves genes and therefore the nucleus (an organelle, which is, in principle, in contact with every synapse of a neuron), does that mean a neuron must change every one of its several thousand synaptic connections in a long-term process, or, can one in the long term, restrict certain connections, alter their strengths, and not others? This is fundamental because if every long-term process is neuron-wide, the ability to store information in the brain is dramatically restricted. But if a neuron can store different kinds of information at different terminals, you obviously expand the information power of a nerve cell dramatically. All the recent studies of the last three or four years have shown that you can have long-term changes that are synapse-specific. So, you retain the informational power of the individual neuron.
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Professor Eric Kandel compares short-term memory, which involves the alteration of pre-existing proteins, and long-term memory, which involves new protein synthesis.
Professor Eric Kandel introduces the concept of long-term potentiation, which refers to change in the strength of synaptic connections.
Professor Seth Grant explains that long-term memories are created when the synapse sends a signal to the nucleus to activate certain genes.
Professor Eric Kandel explains that events in the environment can have profound effects on gene expression and brain anatomy.
Learning and memory are two intimately linked cognitive processes that stem from interactions with the environment (experience).
An interactive chromosome map of the genes and loci associated with learning and memory.
Discs, large homolog 3 (DLG3) is a gene associated with learning and memory. DLG3 encodes synapse-associated protein 102 (SAP102).
Professor James Eberwine discusses the structural changes in a cell related to long-term potentiation. These include changes in the shape of dendritic spines.
Cognitive information is encoded in patterns of nervous activity and decoded by molecular listening devices at the synapse. Professor Seth Grant explains how different patterns of neural firing are critical to cognition.
Professor Tom O'Dell discusses synaptic plasticity - the strengthening and weakening of synaptic connections between neurons.