Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Molecule Important In Cell Construction Also Critical In Learning And Memory

Date:
March 16, 2005
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
A family of proteins that help build the cytoskeleton, or the bones of the cell, also play an important role in learning and memory, according to a study published this month in The Journal of Neuroscience.

New Haven, Conn. — A family of proteins that help build the cytoskeleton, or the bones of the cell, also play an important role in learning and memory, according to a study published this month in The Journal of Neuroscience.

Marina Picciotto, associate professor of psychiatry, pharmacology and neurobiology at Yale School of Medicine, and the senior author of the study, studied mice missing one of these proteins—–adducin—and found the cytoskeleton developed normally. However, the mice were impaired during fear conditioning and memory exercises.

“We were hoping to find a mechanism that cells use to make short term changes in nerve cell communication permanent, but we were surprised that losing –adducin made such a big change in both the nerve cell communication and in behavioral measures of memory,” Picciotto said.

The focus of the study is long–term potentiation, which is a form of neuronal plasticity and may form the biological basis for some kinds of memory. Long–term potentiation refers to the fact that if two neurons in the hippocampus are active at the same time, the connection between them can be strengthened. This change, or potentiation, can last for hours to days. This may serve to lay a foundation for more permanent changes, such as the construction of new connections, or synapses, between the neurons.

“If you learn to do something new, your neurons have to adapt and change to create a stronger, more direct pathway between neurons,” Picciotto said. “The protein –adducin appears to be important for making those new connections.”

In this study, the mice that did not have the protein were not able to strengthen a synapse in the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain that enables us to remember people, places and things. “If the mice don’t have –adducin, they can’t make a new map,” Picciotto said. “It’s not enough to just have the electrical properties, the skeleton is very important in making long–lasting changes between nerve cells that result in learning.”

Citation: Journal of Neuroscience 25: 2138–2145 (February–2005)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Molecule Important In Cell Construction Also Critical In Learning And Memory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050308101838.htm>.
Yale University. (2005, March 16). Molecule Important In Cell Construction Also Critical In Learning And Memory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050308101838.htm
Yale University. "Molecule Important In Cell Construction Also Critical In Learning And Memory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050308101838.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins