Navigation Links
What emotional memories are made of
Date:10/4/2007

Both extensive psychological research and personal experiences confirm that events that happen during heightened states of emotion such as fear, anger and joy are far more memorable than less dramatic occurrences. In a report this week in Cell, Johns Hopkins researchers and their collaborators at Cold Spring Harbor and New York University have identified the likely biological basis for this: a hormone released during emotional arousal primes nerve cells to remember events by increasing their chemical sensitivity at sites where nerves rewire to form new memory circuits.

Describing the brain as a big circuit board in which each new experience creates a new circuit, Hopkins neuroscience professor Richard Huganir, Ph.D. says that he and his team found that during emotional peaks, the hormone norepinephrine dramatically sensitizes synapses the site where nerve cells make an electro-chemical connection to enhance the sculpting of a memory into the big board.

Norepinephrine, more widely known as a fight or flight hormone, energizes the process by adding phosphate molecules to a nerve cell receptor called GluR1. The phosphates help guide the receptors to insert themselves adjacent to a synapse. Now when the brain needs to form a memory, the nerves have plenty of available receptors to quickly adjust the strength of the connection and lock that memory into place, Huganir says.

Huganir and his team suspected that GluR1might be a target of norepinephrine since disruptions in this receptor cause spatial memory defects in mice. They tested the idea by either injecting healthy mice with adrenaline or exposing them to fox urine, both of which increase norepinephrine levels in brain. Analyzing brain slices of the mice, the researchers saw increased phosphates on the GluR1 receptors and an increased ability of these receptors to be recruited to synapses.

When the researchers put mice in a cage, gave a mild shock, took them out of that cage and put them back in it the next day, mice who had received adrenaline or fox urine tended to freeze in fear an indicator they associated the cage as the site of a shock more frequently, suggestive of enhanced memory.

However, in a similar experiment with mice genetically engineered to have a defective GluR1 receptor that phosphates cannot attach to, adrenaline injections had no effect on mouse memory, further evidence of the priming effect of the receptor in response to norepinephrine.

The researchers plan on continuing their work by going in the opposite direction and engineering another mouse strain that has a permanently phosphorylated or primed receptor. Were curious to see how these mice will behave, Huganir says. We suspect that theyll be pretty smart, but at the same time constantly anxious.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nick Zagorski
nzagors1@jhmi.edu
443-287-2251
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Test-tube babies show no emotional problems
2. Emotional trigger to smoke
3. Emotional callers hamper speedy ambulance dispatch
4. Emotional intelligence in Cancer
5. MRI Shows Emotional Changes During Menstrual Cycle
6. ‘Marriage Squabbles’ bad for both Emotional and Physical Wound
7. You Can Be Emotional And Logical
8. Breast Cancer Survivors Emotional Recovery Is Rapid After Treatment
9. Do not get unduly stressed or emotional as it may affect the heart!
10. Parental Conflicts Lead To Emotional Insecurity In Children
11. Job Or Emotional Stress Can Increase Risk Of Heart Attack
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of ... of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even ... progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme ... “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was ... other children and say he was going to kill them. If we were driving ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... with the American Cancer Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer ... to seniors and other adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The ... recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s ... the world, and the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Pro-Am Heroes Golf Classic Tournament held on June 20th at the Woodmont Country ... local charity, Luke’s Wings, an organization dedicated to helping service members that have been ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... DUBLIN , June 24, 2016 ... addition of the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart ... Integrated Photovoltaics Structural electronics involves ... as load-bearing, protective structures, replacing dumb structures such ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... India , June 24, 2016 ... Needles Market by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen ... Therapy (Insulin, GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, ... by MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the market for the ... expected to reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research and ... Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report to their ... treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces ... fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps ... and chloride in balance. Increasing number of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: