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Trends Neurosci. 2006 Sep;29(9):496-505. Epub 2006 Jul 26.

Different molecular cascades in different sites of the brain control memory consolidation.

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  • 1Centro de Memoria, Instituto de Pesquisas Biomédicas, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Hospital Sao Lucas, Av. Ipiranga 6690, 2 Andar, (90610-000) Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.


To understand cognition, it is important to understand how a learned response becomes a long-lasting memory. This process of memory consolidation has been modeled extensively using one-trial avoidance learning, in which animals (or humans) establish a conditioned response by learning to avoid danger in just one trial. This relies on molecular events in the CA1 region of the hippocampus that resemble those involved in CA1 long-term potentiation (LTP), and it also requires equivalent events to occur with different timings in the basolateral amygdala and the entorhinal, parietal and cingulate cortex. Many of these steps are modulated by monoaminergic pathways related to the perception of and reaction to emotion, which at least partly explains why strong and resistant consolidation is typical of emotion-laden memories. Thus memory consolidation involves a complex network of brain systems and serial and parallel molecular events, even for a task as deceptively simple as one-trial avoidance. We propose that these molecular events might also be involved in many other memory types in animals and humans.

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