genetic control of inter-neuron signals

NMF nm_fournier at
Fri Apr 2 18:56:30 EST 2004

"r norman" <rsn_ at> wrote in message
news:cmpq60hfsditb2q8uau68k11ifssrgv5fd at
> On Thu, 1 Apr 2004 23:23:43 -0400, "NMF" <nm_fournier at>
> wrote:

> The lack up followup on scotophobin after the 1970's was not due to a
> lack of interest but rather because Satake and Morton worked out the
> whole story so there was nothing more to investigate.  Go to PubMed
> (the US National Library of Medicine web site at
> and search on Scotophobin.
> Scotophobin has specific effects on the biochemistry of pineal cells.
> And the pineal is well known to control many aspects of behavior
> including setting internal clocks to the light/dark cycle and so
> control diurnal vs nocturnal behavior patterns.

I am familiar with Satake and Morton's work regarding scotophobin and the
pineal, especially one of their papers they published in Pharmacology,
Biochemistry, Behavior.  In any case, I agree with you that it had been
investigated; however, some of the effects found by Ungar was never really
substantiated.  I, by no means, feel emotionally connected with his theories
regarding "transfer of learning", however, in any case the mechanism of
action (from what I have read on the topic... Which I must say has not been
all that extensive) has not been fully explained.  Moreover even if the site
of action may of been the pineal, there is no evidence (at least from what I
have seen) where pinealectomy can influence direct light-dark transition

> Go to PubMed
> (the US National Library of Medicine web site at
> and search on Scotophobin.

(I am well familiar with pubmed and performing searches)

Your suggestion regarding the stress hormonal effect is interesting and I
have seen that as a potential criticism in Setlow's comment on this subject.
In any case, even if it was a stress-related hormone, in my opinion, there
would still be the possibility that the donors may still enter the dark
portions of the light-dark transition task.  That doesn't explain his
(Ungar's) rather highly statistical difference between recipient vs.
non-recipient controls.  In any case, I agree with you regarding this topic,
however, I just thought it was interesting in conjunction with the
information that both you and the previous poster provided.

> The real issue with Ungar is that he was advocating that the protein
> was an agent in memory transfer.  Other so-called memory transfer
> agents have turned out to be things like proteins involved in stress
> response -- animals subjected to learning trials are under some stress
> and produce proteins that may influence learning rates.  However, the
> protein does not in any way contain coded in its amino acid sequence
> the event that represents learning or memory.

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