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Jun 01, 2015

Formation Of Long Term Memory

Written by Dr. Caroline Leaf

Formation Of Long Term Memory

As we form long term memory, the structure of the brain is changed, right down to the cellular, molecular and even the level of quantum physics. Here we shall examine how long term memory is formed at the level of cells and molecules.

The reason it takes about 63 days for habit formation is because habit depend on long term memories which goes through process to be fully established [1]. It takes time for the cellular and molecular structures to be fully formed.

As we learn, nerve cells (neurons) fire and release neurotransmitters in the small gaps (synapses) between them and  other neurons, which cause them to also fire.  These neurotransmitters therefore relay the electrical impulse from one neuron to the next neuron across the synapse between them. As we continue to learn, this connection (synapse) gets stronger chemically and structurally making it easier for the impulse to be relayed and therefore nerve networks to be established [2]. This is short term memory.

 However, research is now showing memory is not just shown in strengthened synapses, but also by intracellular changes in microtubules. Microtubules were once thought to be merely cell scaffolding- now it is realized that they actually form the 'brain' of the cell. In fact the microtubule network in the dendrites have been likened to mini-computers [3].

As we learn a molecule called, CAMK 2, is activated in the dendrite [4]. CAMK 2 has been nick-named the 'nanopoodle' because of its molecular shape. As we persist in learning, activated CAMK 2  'walks' on the mircrotubules depositing phosphate groups thereby imprinting memory in the dendritic mini-computers [5]. As this process of memory imprinting continues, the dendritic spines, which form part of the synapse, changes shape- from a bump, then a lollipop, and eventually to an umbrella shape [6].

Microtubules have even been implicated in how consciousness is expressed through in the brain by a process of quantum computing operating at fantastic speeds of 10 to the power of 27 operations per second for the whole brain [7].

As long term memory is fully established in our brains, our thoughts become automatized into habits . It is then that God's word is firmly 'implanted' and can 'fully save our souls' (James 1:21) leading to godly behavior (Matthew 7:20) and life giving words from our mouths (Matthew 12:34).


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Mol Brain. 2012 May 14;5:14. The molecular biology of memory: cAMP, PKA, CRE, CREB-1, CREB-2, and CPEB. Kandel ER.

3.  University of North Carolina School of Medicine. (2013, October 27). Neuroscientists discover new 'mini-neural computer' in the brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 22, 2015 fromwww.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131027185027.htm

Spencer L. Smith, Ikuko T. Smith, Tiago Branco, Michael Häusser. Dendritic spikes enhance stimulus selectivity in cortical neurons in vivo. Nature

4. Nature. 2009 Mar 19;458(7236):299-304. Activation of CaMKII in single dendritic spines during long-term potentiation. Lee SJ, Escobedo-Lozoya Y, Szatmari EM, Yasuda R.

5. PLoS Comput Biol. 2012;8(3):e1002421. Cytoskeletal signaling: is memory encoded in microtubule lattices by CaMKII phosphorylation? Craddock TJ, Tuszynski JA, Hameroff S.

6. Magic Trees of the Mind: How to Nuture your Child's Intelligence, Creativity, and Healthy Emotions from Birth Through Adolescence k – January 1, 1999 by Marian Diamond, Janet Hopson.

Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2007 Nov;88(4):445-50. Epub 2007 Aug 27. Morphological changes in dendritic spines of Purkinje cells associated with motor learning. Lee KJ, Jung JG, Arii T, Imoto K, Rhyu IJ.

7. Biol Phys. 2010 Jan; 36(1): 53–70. Published online 2009 Jun 4.  A critical assessment of the information processing capabilities of neuronal microtubules using coherent excitations Travis John Adrian Craddock and Jack A. Tuszynski

Phys Life Rev. 2014 Mar;11(1):39-78. doi: 10.1016/j.plrev.2013.08.002. Epub 2013 Aug 20. Consciousness in the universe: a review of the 'Orch OR' theory. Hameroff SPenrose R.

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