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Behav Brain Res. 1997 Feb;83(1-2):31-8.

Interaction of neuromodulatory systems in modulating memory storage.

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  • 1Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, University of California, Irvine 92697-3800, USA.


An implicit assumption guiding many studies of neurochemical systems involved in learning and memory in animal subjects is that animal and human memory systems use the same or similar mechanisms. Because acquisition and retention performance can be influenced by many processes other than information storage, special effort is required to distinguish influences on memory processes from other factors influencing performance. This article reviews the findings of recent studies investigating the effects, on memory, of drugs affecting adrenergic, opioid peptidergic, GABAergic and cholinergic systems. The review focuses primarily on studies using posttraining treatments and tests for retention given no sooner than a day after the training. Extensive evidence suggests that such drugs interact within the amygdaloid complex and that projections from the amygdala influence memory storage in other brain regions. The assumption that comparable processes occur in animal and human subjects is supported by evidence that, in human subjects, emotionally influenced memory is blocked by a beta-adrenergic blocker and by lesions of the amygdaloid complex.

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