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Learning And Memory I Notes

Pharmacology Notes > BIOL10832 Excitable Cells Notes

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Learning and Memory 1
Lecture 17 - Excitable Cells - 17/04/18
IS THE BRAIN HARD-WIRED?-Developmental neuroscience and neuroanatomy both suggest that nervous system is hard-wired; guided by cell-to-cell communication via both physical contact and chemical signalling between cells. e.g. spinal circuits for locomotion.
However - circuitry is modified/refined by environmental factors during
'critical periods' of development. e.g. activity-dependent synaptic plasticity of the visual cortex.
Similar processes of synaptic plasticity occur throughout life - learning and memory.
There is also increasing evidence that some neuronal pathways can regenerate).

BASIC PRINCIPLES OF LEARNING AND MEMORY:Multiple regions of the brain are involved.
Learning and memory involve changes in existing neural circuits including altered synaptic strength and neuronal excitability.
Intracellular signalling pathways play a key role in effecting these changes.
Long-term memory requires new protein synthesis ('permanent') whereas short-term does not.

LEARNING AND MEMORY:"A change in behaviour as a result of experience" - learning is 'Adaptive'
 Learning - acquisition
 Memory - storage and retrievalInvolves modification of existing circuits in the brain
Altered Stimulus → Response relationship e.g. Pavlovian (classical) conditioning TYPES OF MEMORY:-

Seconds to hours
Limited capacity
Requires neural activity
Disruption leads to permanent loss
Repetition promotes retentionLifetime
Unlimited capacity
Requires protein synthesis
Resistant to disruption

Working memory - seconds to minutes; capacity limited to about 7 items

AMNESIAS:Tell us something about how and where memories are laid down (and retrieved), often result from trauma
 Retrograde amnesia - memory loss for event prior to trauma
 Anterograde amnesia - inability to lay down new memories

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