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Making Memories Stick

Memories subsist when the strength of the nerve cells connected in a circuit increase, well-known as synapses. The synapses take minutes or hours for short term memories while in long term memories they are permanently strengthened. The short memory stores random events, the brain does not pay much attention to the details. An example might be the meal you took on this day and month last year. The long memory is home to things that the brain gave consideration either by repetition or the instant permanent strengthening of synapses. A good example for this is the name of your childhood friend.


Synapse Strengthening

A synapse sensitivity increases when it is fired at by the postsynaptic cell membrane, there are great voltage change responding to the other signals received. When the voltage temporarily strengthens the synapse, short term memories are created. Postsynaptic cells are required to create long term memories. They manufacture proteins to strengthen synapses. The proteins increase the receptors and influence the presynaptic cell response.


How Genes Make Memories Stick

The cell nucleus contains the genes like CREB, RNA and mRNA that are involved in generating proteins to strengthen synapses and transmit signals in the brain. There are various experiments that have been carried out to show the relationship between genes, short term memory and the long term memory. Repeated stimulation of signals strengthens a synapse, this result in the nucleus releasing proteins to make the memory permanent. Such memories are realized when you are learning something new, it might be a new language or course. The repetition exercise will make the short term learning a permanent memory.

The nucleus activates CREB to permanently strengthen a synapse. The CREB activates specific genes making them into RNA messenger versions leaving the nucleus. The mRNA signals are translated by the cellular machinery to proteins. The proteins strengthen the synapse to accommodate for long term memories. It is only the short term memories that are affected at this point, after experiencing previous stimulation. They are transformed to long term memories.


How Genes Strengthen a Synapse

Various levels of stimulation cause the cell membrane to fire actions on its own. A signal opens voltage sensitive calcium means. Calcium ions are responsible for activating CREB. They interact with enzymes to trigger its effect. It activates the genes responsible for manufacturing proteins. The nucleus will analyze the effect generated from the stimulation and decide on which memory it will be stored in.

Making memories stick is a sophisticated process in the brain. There nucleus is final on deciding if the memory will stick or fade away. The higher the voltage released when the cell membrane depolarizes, the higher the chance of being permanently stored.

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