After providing all the funding for The Brain from Top to Bottom for over 10 years, the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction informed us that because of budget cuts, they were going to be forced to stop sponsoring us as of March 31st, 2013.

We have approached a number of organizations, all of which have recognized the value of our work. But we have not managed to find the funding we need. We must therefore ask our readers for donations so that we can continue updating and adding new content to The Brain from Top to Bottom web site and blog.

Please, rest assured that we are doing our utmost to continue our mission of providing the general public with the best possible information about the brain and neuroscience in the original spirit of the Internet: the desire to share information free of charge and with no adverstising.

Whether your support is moral, financial, or both, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Bruno Dubuc, Patrick Robert, Denis Paquet, and Al Daigen




Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Links on How Memory Works (continued)

Research on human memory is such an important aspect of cognitive neuroscience today that a tremendous number of articles about memory research can be found on the Internet. So this week, I am continuing last week’s list of new links to articles about various aspects of how memory works—one of the sub-topics covered under the topic Memory and the Brain in The Brain from Top to Bottom. For each link, I provide a brief description of the article in question.

(For more background on how I compile these lists, see my earlier post on Links About Brain Anatomy.)

Molecular Level

i_lien Making a Smarter Rat

Transgenic rats that manufacture more of the NR2B subunit on their NMDA receptors have a better memory than other breeds of rats.

i_lien Scientists uncover a central process in memory encoding

For the new proteins associated with long-term memory to be manufactured in the brain, other proteins that prevent the transcription of RNA must be degraded.

a_lien More than synaptic plasticity: role of nonsynaptic plasticity in learning and memory

Changes in the efficiency of synaptic transmission are not the only changes involved in forming memories. Nonsynaptic processes, such as the modulation of membrane conductance, may affect the excitability of neurons and thus contribute to synaptic changes directly or indirectly.

a_lien AMPA receptor

Structure and functions of the AMPA receptor for glutamate, which is involved in synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity.

a_lien NMDA receptor

Structure and functions of the NMDA receptor for glutamate, a predominant factor controlling synaptic plasticity.

Cellular Level

a_exp A Functional Role for Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Spatial Pattern Separation

Neurogenesis may be necessary for the dentate gyrus of adult mice to distinguish patterns that are close to each other in space.

Neurological Level

i_lien Eye movements reveal unconscious memory retrieval

A form of implicit memory activates the hippocampus even when individuals are not aware that they are retrieving something from memory, but seems to require the prefrontal cortex when they succeed in recalling an association consciously and correctly.

Psychological Level

i_lien Reading the contents of working memory

This article describes two potential mechanisms as the neuronal basis for working memory, and visual working memory in particular.

a_lien Randall Engle’s Attention and Working Memory Lab

Recent articles about working memory, by Randall Engle, with some original tools for navigating through them.

a_lien Conscious and Unconscious Memory Systems of the Mammalian Brain

Video of a lecture by Larry R. Squire on the various memory systems in humans and other mammals.

a_lien Memory and Brain Systems: 1969–2009

Larry R. Squire, whose own research deals with the various human memory systems, reviews the highlights of the past 40 years of research on memory and the brain systems that support it.

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