Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Research at the University of Haifa identified a protein essential in long term memory consolidation

New research at the University of Haifa identified a specific protein essential for the process of long term memory consolidation.

This is the latest of several discoveries that are leading us towards a better understanding of one of the most complex processes in nature – the process of memory creation and consolidation in the human brain. This latest research was published recently in the prestigious journal Nature Neuroscience.

The human brain constantly receives sensory stimuli from the outside world: sounds, tastes, visuals, touch and smells. A very small fraction of these stimuli which are recorded in short term memory actually become part of our long term memory. Previous studies in the laboratory for "Molecular Mechanisms of Learning and Memory" at the University of Haifa identified a protein linked to the quality of long term memories. In the current study, the researchers were looking to understand how long term memories are stabilized.

The research team led by Prof. Kobi Rosenblum, Head of the Department of Neurobiology and Ethology at the University of Haifa, and PhD student Alina Elkobi together with Drs. Katya Belelovsky and Liza Barki and in cooperation with Dr. Ingrid Ehrlich from the Friedrich Miescher Institute at the University of Basel, Switzerland, searched for a protein which is present during the process of memory formation and is actually an essential factor in the process.

Using taste learning in mice, the researchers found learning-related induction of the protein PSD-95 in the brain cortex "taste center" during the process of memory creation. However, when the mice were exposed to known tastes, PSD-95 was not induced in this center of the brain cortex.

In order to prove that PSD-95 is essential for the process of memory creation, the researchers used two different groups of mice who had undergone the same tests for taste learning. Using genetic engineering, the researchers halted the process of PSD-95 production in the nerve cells of the "taste center" in the cortex. The group whose PSD-95 production was stopped had no memory of new tastes the day after being introduced to them while the other group remembered the tastes – demonstrating that a new memory was created when PSD-95 was induced and that the information disappeared from the brain when the protein was not induced.

The study further examined the effect of PSD-95 production on existing memories. Mice that had already been introduced to and remembered certain tastes were genetically engineered to stop producing the protein and they still remembered the tastes – demonstrating that while PSD-95 induction is essential for memory creation, its absence does not affect memory retention.

"The process of long term memory creation in the human brain is one of the incredible processes which is so clearly different than "artificial brains" like those in a computer. While an "artificial brain" absorbs information and immediately saves it in its memory, the human brain continues to process information long after it is received, and the quality of memories depends on how the information is processed. One of the first processes to be affected in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's is that of memory acquisition and processing.

In this research we identified one specific protein, among the many proteins active in brain synapses, whose production is essential for the brain to process and remember information it receives. The more we understand about the processes and elements involved in this complicated process, the sooner we will be able to develop medications which will delay the progression of cognitive degenerative diseases and enable patients to continue normative functioning," explains Prof. Rosenblum.

Laurie Groner | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: Brain PSD-95 Protein consolidation human brain memory creation

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>