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How are memories created?

For discussing the functions of different structures of all organisms.

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How are memories created?

Postby animus » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:53 pm

I've learned that you make a memory when your brain creates new neural pathways, when it builds new neurons. And when you sleep, you rid of unused pathways.

But my question is, how exactly does this occur, on a cellular or molecular level? How does the impulse through the existing pathway suddenly create more neurons to make the new memory? Does it trigger cell division? (Though I thought neurons don't replicate.) Does it involve cell junctions?

I know this is very specific, but I'm hoping someone could help me a little here. Thanks
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Postby david23 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:14 pm

Neuron do not divide to store memories. Your short term memories start off at the hippocampus/mammillary body area, encoded as electron charges in the cells. Then through a pathway it reaches the cortex and become permanent long term memories in the form of peptides.
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Postby animus » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:11 pm

That makes sense, because the electrons would resume their original positions and the short-term memory would be gone; I would think.

Would you mind explaining the peptide part, though? How is the memory stored as proteins? And how are the proteins "read" by the brain to access the memories?
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Postby Darby » Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:50 pm

There's still a lot about this that isn't known, and a lot of current theory is barely confirmed. It seems to change the membranes, initiating something called long-term potentiation (LTP).
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