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Scientists claim brain memory code cracked

ScienceDaily (Mar. 9, 2012)

Despite a century of research, memory encoding in the brain has remained mysterious. Neuronal synaptic connection strengths are involved, but synaptic components are short-lived while memories last lifetimes. This suggests synaptic information is encoded and hard-wired at a deeper, finer-grained molecular scale.

In an article in the March 8 issue of the journal PLoS Computational Biology, physicists Travis Craddock and Jack Tuszynski of the University of Alberta, and anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff of the University of Arizona demonstrate a plausible mechanism for encoding synaptic memory in microtubules, major components of the structural cytoskeleton within neurons.

Microtubules are cylindrical hexagonal lattice polymers of the protein tubulin, comprising 15 percent of total brain protein. Microtubules define neuronal architecture, regulate synapses, and are suggested to process information via interactive bit-like states of tubulin. But any semblance of a common code connecting microtubules to synaptic activity has been missing. Until now.

Original paper here.

Views: 53

Tags: Biology, Computational, Memory, Microtubes, Neuronal, Synapses, Synaptic

Comment by Anthony on March 15, 2012 at 7:03pm

This is really interesting. Something to think about. must research.

Comment by Ritalin-Bunny on March 16, 2012 at 9:57am

Hard read, second kick at the can and I still haven't got it all.

Fascinating though.

Comment by Maris Hellfaerie (Maire) on March 17, 2012 at 2:23am

me noes good enough English for this

Comment by Logos Tartaros on March 17, 2012 at 5:27am

This may help (or make things way worse):

Proteins in the brain form structures that, with the help of a specific enzyme, may be the key to how long term memories are stored, accessed, and processed.

Comment by Maris Hellfaerie (Maire) on March 17, 2012 at 5:21pm

This I thought was already common knowledge. When I could afford it I used to eat a lot of Neuro-glutamine pills which accelerate the brain performance.

When I say afford, I don't mean money, I mean being able to afford worse insomnia and plenty of aggravation. Ultimately I feel thinking is a waste of energy for me. I am only cattle.

Comment by Maris Hellfaerie (Maire) on March 17, 2012 at 5:22pm

*cattle as attachment to interesting breast. Yes, real life is not fun right now, but hiding does not really improve anything.

Comment by Logos Tartaros on March 18, 2012 at 6:32am

The article referenced focuses more on the specific lattice structures of microtubes formed as polymers of tubulin protein and how those microtubes process information in terms of tubulin states, and function as computational devices.

Even though it's just a theory it's intriguing how the referenced enzyme matches up exactly to the microtube lattices...


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