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Memory Linking and Engram Allocation: Exploring the Interconnected Mechanisms

Visser, Marije (2024) Memory Linking and Engram Allocation: Exploring the Interconnected Mechanisms. Master's Thesis / Essay, Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences.


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The substrate of memory is thought to be the memory engram; a network of neurons activated by a learning event that undergo changes to contain a memory of this event and which later are reactivated when remembering said event. The most investigated mechanism of engram allocation is that of differential excitability. The transcription factor CREB increases neuronal excitability, which then increases a neuron’s likelihood of being allocated to a memory engram. This mechanism is also implied to be involved in the process of memory linking. Studies have shown that increased neuronal excitability causes co-allocation of neurons to two engrams, provided there is a limited time-frame between the two events. However, several recent findings suggest neuronal excitability is not the only mechanism at play. The theory of synaptic tagging and capture, as well as inhibitory mechanisms might also partly be responsible for memory linking. Further factors that are suggested to be involved are synaptogenesis and dendritogenesis. It is hypothesised that all these mechanisms are linked together by a transcription factor that contributes to all these mechanisms: CREB is thought to mediate neuronal allocation to memory engrams, and thereby memory linking, via these processes. The role of CREB has not sufficiently been investigated in this context to draw this conclusion and future research should focus on the interplay of all mechanisms proposed to be involved with memory linking.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Supervisor name: Havekes, R.
Degree programme: Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2024 07:53
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2024 07:53

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