Synaptic receptor mobility: Discovery of a new mechanism for controlling memorySeptember 14, 2017
Researchers in Bordeaux recently discovered a new mechanism for storing information in synapses and a means of controlling the storage process. The breakthrough moves science closer to unveiling the mystery of the molecular mechanisms of memory and learning processes. The research, carried out primarily by researchers at the Interdisciplinary Institute for Neurosciences (CNRS/Université de Bordeaux) and the Bordeaux Imaging Center (CNRS/Université de Bordeaux/Inserm) , appears in the 13 september 2017 edition of Nature.
Communication between neurons passes through over one million billion synapses, tiny structures the tenth of the width of a single hair, in an extremely complex process. Synaptic plasticity -- the ability of synapses to adapt in response to neuronal activity -- was discovered nearly 50 years ago, leading the scientific community to identify it as a vital functional component of memorisation and learning.
Neurotransmitter receptors -- found at the synapse level -- play a key role in the transmission of nerve messages. A few years ago, the team of researchers in Bordeaux discovered that neurotransmitter receptors were not immobile as thought previously, but in a constant state of agitation. They posited that controlling this agitation through neuronal activity could modulate the effectiveness of synaptic transmission by regulating the number of receptors present at a given time in a synapse.
The new research has taken the two teams further in their understanding of the basic mechanisms behind how information is stored in the brain. Scientists combined techniques based on chemistry, electrophysiology and high-resolution imaging to develop a new method to immobilise receptors at synaptic sites. This method successfully stops receptor movement, making it possible to study the impact of the immobilisation on brain activity and learning ability. It provides evidence that receptor movement is essential to synaptic plasticity as a response to intense neuronal activity.
Researchers also explored the direct role of synaptic plasticity in learning. By teaching mice to recognise a specific environment, they show that halting receptor movement can be used to block the acquisition of this type of memory, confirming the role of synaptic plasticity in this process.
The discovery offers new perspectives on controlling memory. The memorisation protocol tested here activates a particular area of the brain: the hippocampus. The next step for researchers is to determine if the mechanism discovered can also be applied to other forms of learning and, by extension, to other areas of the brain. From a technical standpoint, it will be possible to develop new, reversible and light-sensitive methods of immobilizing receptors in order to better control the process.
Related Memory Articles:
A quick glance at any social media platform will tell you that people love taking photos of their experiences -- whether they're lying on the beach, touring a museum, or just waiting in line at the grocery store.
Research from Katherine Duncan at the University of Toronto suggests we may have to rethink how we improve memory.
The ability to remember sounds, and manipulate them in our minds, is incredibly important to our daily lives -- without it we would not be able to understand a sentence, or do simple arithmetic.
In the battle of the sexes, women have long claimed that they can remember things better and longer than men can.
A collaboration between Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Harvard University pioneers the increase of memory using optogenetics in mice in Spain.
Peppermint tea can improve long-term and working memory and in healthy adults.
MIT study finds bursts of neural activity as the brain holds information in mind, overturns a long-held model.
For over forty years, neuro-scientists have been interested in the biological mechanisms underlying the storage of the information that our brain records every day.
Why is it that some people have richly detailed recollection of past experiences (episodic memory), while others tend to remember just the facts without details (semantic memory)?
Neuroscientists at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science have discovered a novel mechanism for memory formation.
Related Memory Reading:
Unlimited Memory: How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and be More Productive
by Kevin Horsley (Author)
Kevin Horsley Broke a World Memory Record in 2013...
And You're About to Learn How to Use His Memory Strategies to Learn Faster, Be More Productive and Achieve More Success
Most people never tap into 10% of their potential for memory. In this book, you're about to learn:
How the World's Top Memory Experts Concentrate and Remember Any Information at Will, and How You Can Too
Do you ever feel like you're too busy, too stressed or just too distracted to concentrate and get work done? In Unlimited Memory, you'll learn how the world's best memory masters... View Details
Memory Rescue: Supercharge Your Brain, Reverse Memory Loss, and Remember What Matters Most
by Dr. Daniel G. Amen (Author)
A proven program from #1 New York Times bestselling author and brain researcher Dr. Daniel Amen to help you change your brain and improve your memory today!
Brain imaging research demonstrates that memory loss actually starts in the brain decades before you have any symptoms. Learn the actions you can take to help not just prevent memory loss later in life . . . but to begin restoring the memory you may have already lost.
Expert physician Dr. Amen reveals how a multipronged strategy―including dietary changes, physical and mental exercises, and spiritual... View Details
by Alan Baddeley (Author), Michael W. Eysenck (Author), Michael C. Anderson (Author)
This best-selling textbook presents a comprehensive and accessible overview of the study of memory. Written by three of the world’s leading researchers in the field, it contains everything the student needs to know about the scientific approach to memory and its applications.
Each chapter of the book is written by one of the three authors, an approach which takes full advantage of their individual expertise and style, creating a more personal and accessible text. This enhances students’ enjoyment of the book, allowing them to share the authors’ own fascination with human... View Details
How to Develop a Brilliant Memory Week by Week: 50 Proven Ways to Enhance Your Memory Skills
by Dominic O'Brien (Author)
Written by eight times World Memory Champion, Dominic O'Brien this book is a complete course in memory enhancement. Dominic takes you step-by-step through an ingenious program of skills, introducing all his tried and tested techniques on which he has built his triumphant championship performances. Pacing the course in line with his expert understanding of how the brain responds to basic memory training, Dominic offers strategies and tips that will expand your mental capacities at a realistic but impressive rate. View Details
The Memory Illusion: Remembering, Forgetting, and the Science of False Memory
by Dr. Julia Shaw (Author)
Memories make us who we are—yet the truth is they are far from being the accurate record we like to think they are. We can all admit to occasional memory lapses, but what if we have the potential for more profound errors of memory, even verging on outright fabrication and self-deception? Forensic psychologist and memory expert Dr. Julia Shaw uses the latest research to show the astonishing variety of ways in which our brains can be led astray. She shows why we can misappropriate other people's memories, believing them to be our own. She explains how police officers can imprison an innocent... View Details
The Memory Book: The Classic Guide to Improving Your Memory at Work, at School, and at Play
by Harry Lorayne (Author), Jerry Lucas (Author)
Unleash the hidden power of your mind through Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas's simple, fail-safe memory system, and you can become more effective, more imaginative, and more powerful, at work, at school, in sports and play. Discover how easy it is to: file phone numbers, data, figures, and appointments right in your head; learn foreign words and phrases with ease; read with speed--and greater understanding; shine in the classroom--and shorten study hours; dominate social situations, and more.
From the Paperback edition. View Details
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
by Joshua Foer (Author)
The blockbuster phenomenon that charts an amazing journey of the mind while revolutionizing our concept of memory
An instant bestseller that is poised to become a classic, Moonwalking with Einstein recounts Joshua Foer's yearlong quest to improve his memory under the tutelage of top "mental athletes." He draws on cutting-edge research, a surprising cultural history of remembering, and venerable tricks of the mentalist's trade to transform our understanding of human memory. From the United States Memory Championship to deep within the author's own mind, this is an... View Details
In Pursuit of Memory: The Fight Against Alzheimer's
by Joseph Jebelli (Author)
For readers of Atul Gawande, Siddhartha Mukherjee, and Henry Marsh, a riveting, gorgeously written biography of one of history's most fascinating and confounding diseases--Alzheimer's--from its discovery more than 100 years ago to today's race towards a cure.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE 2017
Named "Science Book of the Month" by Bookseller
Alzheimer's is the great global epidemic of our time, affecting millions worldwide -- there are more than 5 million people diagnosed in the US alone. And as our population ages, scientists... View Details
The Memory Bible: An Innovative Strategy for Keeping Your Brain Young
by Gary Small (Author)
Clear, concise, prescriptive steps for improving your memory and keeping your brain young -- from one of the world's top memory experts. Ever forget the name of an acquaintance or where you put the keys to your car If you're like most people, you probably have, but now -- thanks to the paperback publication of The Memory Bible -- much of this forgetfulness can be eliminated easily. According to Dr. Gary Small, the director of the UCLA Center on Aging, "Great memories are not born, they are made," and The Memory Bible provides the innovative memory... View Details
A Memory of Light (Wheel of Time)
by Robert Jordan (Author), Brandon Sanderson (Author)
Now in development for TV!
Since 1990, when Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time® burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World, readers have been anticipating the final scenes of this extraordinary saga, which has sold over forty million copies in over thirty languages.
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the... View Details