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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2006 Jul;7(7):575-83.

A clustered plasticity model of long-term memory engrams.

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The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, RIKEN-MIT Neuroscience Research Center, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Long-term memory and its putative synaptic correlates the late phases of both long-term potentiation and long-term depression require enhanced protein synthesis. On the basis of recent data on translation-dependent synaptic plasticity and on the supralinear effect of activation of nearby synapses on action potential generation, we propose a model for the formation of long-term memory engrams at the single neuron level. In this model, which we call clustered plasticity, local translational enhancement, along with synaptic tagging and capture, facilitates the formation of long-term memory engrams through bidirectional synaptic weight changes among synapses within a dendritic branch.

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