Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Neuroscience of memory: book suggestions

  1. Aug 7, 2014 #1
    I want to delve into the topic of the way the mind works in terms of storing and retrieving memory, and all sources that I can find through Google (wikipedia etc) seem to cover this from a psychological perspective without going into any detail as to how the individual neurons/synapses network in order to store memories.

    I cannot find anywhere where short-term/long-term memory is actually explained from a biochemical perspective from the ground up, from the very beginning without assuming anything from any models. Could anyone recommend a good source for this?

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 7, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Memory isn't well understood at a reducitonist level. We know that a lot of reductionist mechanisms are related to memory (and further, that there are many kinds of memory). Some such mechanisms are:

    Long term potentiation (LTP) [1] can increase excitability of a cell and lead to Hebbian learning [2]. With increased activity, microtubule invasion into dendrites [3] leads to increased surface contact between dendritic spine and axon bouton, which leads to more conducting channels of a synapse, increasing the strength of signaling between the neurons. Also interesting in this regard is silent synapses [4].

    [1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK10878/
    [2] http://penta.ufrgs.br/edu/telelab/3/hebbian_.htm
    [3] http://www.jneurosci.org/content/28/49/13094.full\
    [4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2819160/

    Less understood and more controversial are how other molecular mechanisms and cells play into memory. For instance, one paper proposes prion-like proteins play an important role [5]. There's also a lot of researchers looking at the roles of astrocytes [6] which can form a tripartite synapse with two coupled neurons [7].

    [5] http://www.cell.com/cell/abstract/S0092-8674(12)00005-0
    [6] http://white.stanford.edu/teach/index.php/Role_of_Astrocytes_in_Learning_and_Memory
    [7] http://blogforalzheimers.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Image-12-31-11.jpg [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  4. Aug 7, 2014 #3
    Very helpful and interesting, I'll look into those studies, thanks.
  5. Aug 8, 2014 #4
    What's your level of understanding of neurobiology? As far as popular treatments on the subject, there's a few books I can recommend:

    Damasio's book...

    Freeman's book..

    And especially, one of my favs, McCrones book
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook