Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Neuroscientists find memory storage, reactivation process more complex than previously thought

Date:
March 22, 2011
Source:
New York University
Summary:
The process we use to store memories is more complex than previously thought, neuroscientists have found. New research underscores the challenges in addressing memory-related ailments, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

The process we use to store memories is more complex than previously thought, New York University neuroscientists have found. Their research, which appears in the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, underscores the challenges in addressing memory-related ailments, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Related Articles


The researchers looked at memory consolidation and reconsolidation. Memory consolidation is the neurological process we undergo to store memories after an experience. However, memory is dynamic and changes when new experiences bring to mind old memories. As a result, the act of remembering makes the memory vulnerable until it is stored again -- this process is called reconsolidation. During this period, new information may be incorporated into the old memory.

It has been well-established that the synthesis of new proteins within neurons is necessary for memory storage. More specifically, this process is important for stabilizing memories because it triggers the production of new proteins that are required for molecular and synaptic changes during both consolidation and reconsolidation.

The purpose of the NYU study was to determine if there were differences between memory consolidation and reconsolidation during protein synthesis. Similar comparative studies have been conducted, but those focused on elongation, one of the latter stages of protein synthesis; the PNAS research considered the initiation stage, or the first step of this process.

Using laboratory rats as subjects, the researchers used mild electric shocks paired with an audible tone to generate a specific associative fear memory and, with it, memory consolidation. They played the audible tone one day later -- a step designed to initiate recall of the earlier fear memory and bring about reconsolidation. During both of these steps, the rats were injected with a drug designed to inhibit the initiation stage of protein synthesis.

Their results showed that the inhibitor could effectively interfere with memory consolidation, but had no impact on memory reconsolidation.

"Our results show the different effects of specifically inhibiting the initiation of protein synthesis on memory consolidation and reconsolidation, making clear these two processes have greater variation than previously thought," explained Eric Klann, a professor at NYU's Center for Neural Science and one of the study's co-authors. "Because addressing memory-related afflictions, such at PTSD, depends on first understanding the nature of memory formation and the playback of those memories, finding remedies may prove even more challenging than is currently recognized."

The study's other co-authors included: Kiriana Cowansage, Joseph LeDoux, and Charles Hoeffer, who now holds an appointment at NYU School of Medicine.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

New York University. "Neuroscientists find memory storage, reactivation process more complex than previously thought." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110131153301.htm>.
New York University. (2011, March 22). Neuroscientists find memory storage, reactivation process more complex than previously thought. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110131153301.htm
New York University. "Neuroscientists find memory storage, reactivation process more complex than previously thought." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110131153301.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Shows Newborn Chicks Count From Left to Right Just Like Humans

Study Shows Newborn Chicks Count From Left to Right Just Like Humans

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) Researchers for the first time identified human&apos;s innate preference for associating low and high numbers with the left and right respectively in another species. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Best Mood Elevating, Feel Good Shakes & Smoothies

Best Mood Elevating, Feel Good Shakes & Smoothies

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) You can elevate your mood by having a meal in a glass. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) offers the best &apos;feel good&apos; smoothies and shakes chock full of depression-relieving ingredients...including apples, berries, lemons, cucumbers, papaya, kiwi, spinach, kale, whey protein, matcha, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) According to a poll out of the U.K., eldest siblings feel more responsible and successful than their younger siblings. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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