Persistent protein pairing enables memories to last

The complex of two memory proteins, rather than the individual molecules acting independently, underlie month-long memories in mice, a new study suggests.

By Elissa Welle
17 July 2024 | 5 min read
Illustration of a canyon landscape with an orange clock face in place of a sun.

How to teach this paper: ‘Behavioral time scale synaptic plasticity underlies CA1 place fields,’ by Bittner and Milstein et al. (2017)

Katie Bittner, Aaron Milstein and their colleagues found that cellular learning can happen over longer timescales than Hebb’s rule predicts. How long should we wait to teach students about this phenomenon?

By Ashley Juavinett
24 June 2024 | 11 min read
Illustration of a sparkly brain.

What, if anything, makes mood fundamentally different from memory?

To better understand mood disorders—and to develop more effective treatments—should we target the brain, the mind, the environment or all three?

By Nicole Rust
8 April 2024 | 8 min read
Computer-generated illustration of disgusting green food.

‘It must be something I ate’ is hard-wired into the brain

Feeling sick reactivates “novel flavor” neurons, according to a new study in mice, and points to a dedicated circuit for learning to avoid unsafe food.

By Angie Voyles Askham
29 March 2024 | 6 min read

Neurons making memories shush their neighbors

When neurons strengthen their synapses, they “infect” surrounding cells with a virus-like protein to weaken those cells’ excitatory connections, according to a new preprint.

By Holly Barker
22 March 2024 | 5 min read
Photograph of Simone Biles vaulting at the Summer 2020 Olympics.

Learning or performance? Why the distinction matters for memory science

New methods make it possible to probe the neural substrates of memory with unprecedented precision. Making the most of them demands careful experimental design.

By Stephen Maren
11 March 2024 | 6 min read
A research image showing astrocytes and neurons

‘SNAP’ dance of astrocytes and neurons falls out of step with age, disease

The findings add to growing evidence that astrocytes are star players in cognition.

By Laura Dattaro
6 March 2024 | 6 min read
An illustration of mice observing a lesson on a tiny chalkboard

How to teach this paper: ‘Creating a false memory in the hippocampus,’ by Ramirez and Liu et al. (2013)

We’ve known how to implant memories in mouse minds for a decade. Can we implant these ideas in our students?

By Ashley Juavinett
6 February 2024 | 10 min read
Illustrated portrait of André Fenton.
Synaptic Microphone

Being uncomfortable and PKMzeta with André Fenton

The director of the Center for Neural Science shares a ghost story and talks about his collaboration with Todd Sacktor.

By Brady Huggett
1 February 2024 | 80 min listen
Portrait of scientist Sheena Josselyn behind a window, with a reflection over her face.

Sheena Josselyn and memories lost, found and created

Her hunt for the engram opened a new avenue in memory research.

By Alla Katsnelson
30 January 2024 | 13 min read

Explore more from The Transmitter

Brain organoid size matches intensity of social problems in autistic people

Overgrown organoids could point to mechanisms underlying profound autism.

By Holly Barker
18 July 2024 | 5 min read
A digitally distorted image of a file folder against a blue gradient background.

Data access changes to UK Biobank stir unease in neuroscientists

“I feel a little bit in limbo,” says neuroscientist Stephanie Noble, who has paused a study using Biobank data after the repository shifted from a data download to a cloud-only access model.

By Calli McMurray
16 July 2024 | 7 min read
Illustration of an open journal featuring lines of text and small illustrations of eyes and mouths.

Bumetanide; sex-biased gene expression; racial and ethnic disparities

Here is a roundup of autism-related news and research spotted around the web for the week of 15 July.

By Jill Adams
16 July 2024 | 1 min read