Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tracking the memory trace

05.12.2005


Memory formation follows a dynamic pattern, allowing for retrieval from different areas of the brain, depending on when an organism needs to remember, said a researcher at Baylor College of Medicine.



That is what Dr. Ron L. Davis, professor of molecular and cellular biology at BCM, theorizes, based on his most recent report on the topic that finds a memory trace in Drosophila or fruit flies is formed in a pair of neurons called the dorsal pair medial neurons, but only 30 minutes after the fact and only through the mediation of a gene called, ironically, amnesiac. (A memory trace is a chemical change in tissue that represents the formation of a memory.) The study appears in the current issue of the journal Cell.

Davis and his colleagues were one of the first to actually record a memory trace being formed. That one was first stored in the insect’s antennal lobe (where odors are processed). The flies are trained to associate an odor with an electric shock. The change in these neurons was immediate, but lasted only five to seven minutes.


In the more recent report involving the DPM neurons, the change can be seen 30 minutes after the formation of the memory, but it lasts about two hours.

"The other intriguing thing we don’t understand is that this occurs only in one branch of the DPM neuron," said Davis. "Our impression now is that maybe what guides the behavior after training in the first few minutes is the antennal lobe. That is the important part that guides behavior for the small window of time after training. The DPM neurons have that role from 30 minutes to two hours."

The finding belies the commonly held precept that a memory is formed in the same way that data are stored in a computer – always in the same place.

"It’s not as if we are forming memories that are then being written to a "hard disk" area of the brain, and it’s there and recalled from the same location at any time after learning," said Davis. "We now think that different areas of the brain have dominion over small intervals of time after training. One area might have dominion and then another." Others who participated in the research include Drs. Dinghui Yu and Anjana Srivatsan, both of BCM, and Scott Waddell and graduate student Alex Keene, of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

Ross Tomlin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bcm.tmc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>