Biochemical mechanisms involved in memory formation in the chick
If memory formation requires some lasting modification of cellular connectivity within the brain, a construction of new circuits or remodelling of old ones, then remodelling must occur. Neuromodulation may be a necessary part of the cellular processes subserving memory formation, in the sense that whenever something is required to be learned, or fixed in long-term memory, then some type of burst of secretory activity is required. Because of the act of faith that memory involves an altered pattern of synaptic connectivity, studies of long-term memory formation in vertebrates have placed much emphasis on altered synthesis of macromolecules. The transition to long-term memory is a behaviourally important event, and not one that is automatic. Increased RNA synthesis is best regarded as an enabling process for increased synthesis of protein, and there is increased incorporation of radioactive lysine into protein in the anterior forebrain roof after imprinting.
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