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ERIC Number: EJ1027241
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0502
The Less Things Change, the More They Are Different: Contributions of Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity and Homeostasis to Memory
Schacher, Samuel; Hu, Jiang-Yuan
Learning & Memory, v21 n3 p128-134 Mar 2014
An important cellular mechanism contributing to the strength and duration of memories is activity-dependent alterations in the strength of synaptic connections within the neural circuit encoding the memory. Reversal of the memory is typically correlated with a reversal of the cellular changes to levels expressed prior to the stimulation. Thus, for stimulus-induced changes in synapse strength and their reversals to be functionally relevant, cellular mechanisms must regulate and maintain synapse strength both prior to and after the stimuli inducing learning and memory. The strengths of synapses within a neural circuit at any given moment are determined by cellular and molecular processes initiated during development and those subsequently regulated by the history of direct activation of the neural circuit and system-wide stimuli such as stress or motivational state. The cumulative actions of stimuli and other factors on an already modified neural circuit are attenuated by homeostatic mechanisms that prevent changes in overall synaptic inputs and excitability above or below specific set points (synaptic scaling). The mechanisms mediating synaptic scaling prevent potential excitotoxic alterations in the circuit but also may attenuate additional cellular changes required for learning and memory, thereby apparently limiting information storage. What cellular and molecular processes control synaptic strengths before and after experience/activity and its reversals? In this review we will explore the synapse-, whole cell-, and circuit level-specific processes that contribute to an overall zero sum-like set of changes and long-term maintenance of synapse strengths as a consequence of the accommodative interactions between long-term synaptic plasticity and homeostasis.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A