Slow Biological Processes in Memory Storage and “Recovery” of Memory

  • S. H. Barondes
  • L. R. Squire
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 4)


Despite all the evidence which has been reviewed at this symposium, the hypothesis that RNA and protein synthesis are required for long-term memory storage has not yet been firmly established. Although it is difficult to conceive of long-term memory storage in the brain without mediation of the prime cellular regulatory mechanisms which rely heavily on the synthesis of RNA and proteins, the various experiments which have been described here do not prove conclusively that these macromolecules are required. One could argue, for example, that increased incorporation of radioactive precursors into brain macromolecules during a learning experience is attributable to generalized cerebral activation or to changes in the specific radioactivity of precursor pools. Likewise, studies with inhibitors of cerebral protein synthesis can be faulted because of the known side effects of both puromycin (Cohen, Ervin and Barondes, 1966) and cycloheximide (Segal, Squire and Barondes, 1971). However, though we may challenge the interpretation of the experiments which have been presented, the general hypothesis remains supported.


Nerve Ending Passive Avoidance Memory Storage Autocatalytic Process Axoplasmic Transport 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. H. Barondes
    • 1
  • L. R. Squire
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California at San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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