To live and learn: Making memories has to be a speedy business

To live and learn: Making memories has to be a speedy business

Researchers have discovered that nerve cells have a special “pre-assembly” technique to expedite the manufacture of proteins at nerve cell connections (synapses), enabling the brain to rapidly form memories and be plastic.

via ScienceDaily: Top Health News:

Oct. 15, 2013 — The brain is plastic — adapting to the hundreds of experiences in our daily lives by reorganizing pathways and making new connections between nerve cells. This plasticity requires that memories of new information and experiences are formed fast. So fast that the body has a special mechanism, unique to nerve cells, that enables memories to be made rapidly. In a new study from The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, The Neuro, McGill University with colleagues at the Université de Montréal, researchers have discovered that nerve cells have a special ‘pre-assembly’ technique to expedite the manufacture of proteins at nerve cell connections (synapses), enabling the brain to rapidly form memories and be plastic.Share This:Making a memory requires the production of proteins at synapses. These proteins then change the strength of the connection or pathway. In nerve cells the production process for memory proteins is already pre-assembled at the synapse but stalled just before completion, awaiting the proper signals to finish, thereby speeding up the entire process. When it comes time to making the memory, the process is switched on and the protein is made in a flash. The mechanism is analogous to a pre-fab home, or pre-made pancake batter that is assembled in advance and then quickly completed in the correct location at the correct time.”It’s not only important to make proteins in the right place but, it’s also important not to make the protein when it’s the wrong time,” says Dr. Wayne Sossin, neuroscientist at The Neuro and senior investigator on the paper. …

For more info: To live and learn: Making memories has to be a speedy business

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

To live and learn: Making memories has to be a speedy business

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