Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Neuron. 2015 Sep 2;87(5):918-31. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.08.002.

Memory Engram Cells Have Come of Age.

Author information

1
RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Biology and Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Electronic address: tonegawa@mit.edu.
2
RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Biology and Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
3
RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Biology and Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Electronic address: sramirez@mit.edu.

Abstract

The idea that memory is stored in the brain as physical alterations goes back at least as far as Plato, but further conceptualization of this idea had to wait until the 20(th) century when two guiding theories were presented: the "engram theory" of Richard Semon and Donald Hebb's "synaptic plasticity theory." While a large number of studies have been conducted since, each supporting some aspect of each of these theories, until recently integrative evidence for the existence of engram cells and circuits as defined by the theories was lacking. In the past few years, the combination of transgenics, optogenetics, and other technologies has allowed neuroscientists to begin identifying memory engram cells by detecting specific populations of cells activated during specific learning epochs and by engineering them not only to evoke recall of the original memory, but also to alter the content of the memory.

PMID:
26335640
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2015.08.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center