by Medindia Content Team on  August 18, 2007 at 7:03 PM Mental Health News
Neocortex- A  Cache of  Memories
PKMzeta , the "memory storage molecule" keeps long-term memories in the neocortex and its presence is continually required in order for the memory to endure. This is according to a finding by researchers at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel and SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

It was previously determined that PKMzeta in the hippocampus - an area of the brain involved in navigation and the initial storage of memory - was necessary to preserve spatial memory; but little was known about PKMzeta activity in the neocortex, the part of the brain thought to be responsible for permanently storing most long-term memories, including those required for higher-level cognitive functions, such as language and complex thought.

This new finding - that inhibiting PKMzeta causes the rapid loss of neocortical memories learned even weeks before - means that persistent phosphorylation by PKMzeta in the neocortex is necessary to store these long-term memories and has potential clinical significance, for example, in the field of cognitive enhancement.

Source: Eurekalert
JAY/B

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