Memory Mechanics

Simon Laub silanian at mail.tele.dk
Fri Mar 29 04:15:21 EST 2002

"Ian Goddard" <igoddard at erols.mom> wrote in message
news:3ca1dc72.71295438 at news.erols.com...
> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020327072602.htm
> Scientists Enhance Fruit Fly Memory Using Mouse Protein:
> New Clue To Fundamental Brain Mechanism
> "We believe that PKM may be involved in a process that 'tags'
> synapses during memory formation," says Jerry Yin, a scientist at
> Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the principle investigator in the
> new study. "In this way, those synapses and only those synapses
> corresponding to a particular memory are strengthened in response to
> experience."
> Depending on the training regimen, fly memories based on this type
> of "associative" learning (made famous by Pavlov's Dogs) are
> initially robust, but fade away completely over one to seven days
> (the lifespan of a fruit fly is 30-40 days). However, when Yin and
> his colleagues used a genetic trick to boost the level of PKM in the
> flies, a substantial proportion of flies retained the "avoid that
> odor" memory at times after training when the memory would normally
> be long gone.

You then wonder why evolution haven't come up with this trick?
What (if any) is the downside for a fly with a boosted PKM level?
Too many irrelevant memories?
Would you be able to boost PKM levels at times when you know that some
important learning is going to take place, and then bring the levels down
with the effect of keeping the important memories for a lifetime, but having
less important memories fade in the usual way?


Lets return:

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