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Lecture 11

BIOL 1F25 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Design Of Experiments, Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate, Memory Consolidation

Biological Sciences
Course Code
Gaynor E Spencer

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Oct 23rd 2015
LEC 11
Cellular mechanisms of learning and memory (cont’d)
Post- synaptic changes: more glutamate receptors put into membrane (AMPA
Both these effects lead to increase in synaptic strength that can last for many
(i.e, long-term potentiation of synapse)
Only ACTIVATED synapses become strengthened
Longer terms changes:
1. Ca/ calmodulin activates cAMP messenger pathway
2. Activates CREB (Cyclic AMP Response Element Binding Protein)
3. Activates genes to produce long term effects
Cells build new synapses
Activation of genes (nucleus) and new proteins needed
Learning and memory: LTP
1. Increased strength of existing synapses
2. Formation of new synapses (increased number of synapses)
3. New dendritic spines formed. Changes in shape and number after LTP
Spine: location of synapse on the dendrite
Important considerations for the role of LTP in learning and memory:
1. is electrical stimulation physiologically relevant?
2. Is it specific to activated synapses only?
3. Does it show properties of association?
4. Does it occur in intact brain?
5. Does it occur in behavioral models of L and M?
6. Is it a correlation b/w changes in LTP behavioral performance in learning tasks?
Problems w/ involvement of synaptic changes in long-term memory formations:
1. Different areas of brain involved in formation vs storage (studies in H.M.)
2. Memory reactivation might lead to further changes in those synapses, which
eventually lead to memory erosion
Theory: factual memories initially dependent on hippocampus are eventually
consolidated in the neocortex.
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