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J Neurosci. 2007 Jul 11;27(28):7476-81.

Induction of long-term memory by exposure to novelty requires protein synthesis: evidence for a behavioral tagging.

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Instituto de Biología Celular y Neurociencias, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, 1121 Buenos Aires, Argentina.


A behavioral analog of the synaptic tagging and capture process, a key property of synaptic plasticity, has been predicted recently. Here, we demonstrate that weak inhibitory avoidance training, which induces short- but not long-term memory (LTM), can be consolidated into LTM by an exploration to a novel, but not a familiar, environment occurring close in time to the training session. This memory-promoting effect caused by novelty depends on activation of dopamine D1/D5 receptors and requires newly synthesized proteins in the dorsal hippocampus. Thus, our results indicate the existence of a behavioral tagging process in which the exploration to a novel environment provides the plasticity-related proteins to stabilize the inhibitory avoidance memory trace.

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