(From Nature press release.) Permanent memories are thought to be stored in the cortex, but little is known about the processes that incorporate memories into cortical networks. Now [in today's Nature] Alcino J. Silva of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues, have discovered a molecular manipulation that affects memory specifically days and weeks after training-"remote memory"-in mice. Mice with half of the normal level of the enzyme α-calcium/calmodulin kinase II show normal memory a day after training, but three to 50 days later they have profound memory deficit compared with wildtype mice. This suggests that the enzyme is required for memory consolidation.
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- Frankland PW, O'Brien C, Ohno M, Kirkwood A, Silva AJ. Alpha-CaMKII-dependent plasticity in the cortex is required for permanent memory. Nature. 2001 May 17;411(6835):309-13. PubMed.