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Mayadevi, M. and Archana, G.M. and Ramya R. , Prabhu and Omkumar, R.V. (2012) Molecular Mechanisms in Synaptic Plasticity. INTECH Open Publisher Neuroscience. pp. 295-330. ISSN ISBN 978-953-51-0207-6

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Abstract

Brain is a sophisticated information processing and storage system with capabilities unmatched by any manmade computers. Neurons, the primary building blocks of the brain are structurally and functionally specialized to do these functions. The neuronal membrane is equipped with several types of ion channel and ion pump proteins which enable it to conduct nerve impulses in the form of electrochemical signals called action potentials. The highly branched structure of the neuron with dendrites and axons helps in not only transmitting these signals but also in information processing by integrating multiple inputs. Storage of information, on the other hand, happens by permanent changes in the brain consequent to activity that will serve the function of recording information input. This remarkable property of the brain is known as plasticity and brings about changes in the structures and functions of the brain in response to internal and external stimuli. Plasticity can be defined as the ability of neural circuitry to undergo modifications consequent to experience and thereby modify future thought, behaviour and feeling. Neuronal activity can modify the behaviour of neural circuits by one of the three mechanisms : (a) by modifying the strength or efficacy of synaptic transmission at pre-existing synapses, (b) by eliciting the growth of new synaptic connections or the pruning away of existing ones, or (c) by modulating the excitability of individual neurons (Malenka, 2002). It is now reasonably well established that synapses are the primary sites of information storage, enabled by synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity is the cellular phenomenon by which synapses can undergo permanent changes in their properties consequent to specific patterns of activity. Since synaptic activity represents incoming information into the brain, the consequent permanent changes in synapses are thought to serve as the engram or record of the information. Hence mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity events have attracted considerable attention as the molecular basis of learning and memory.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Molecular Neurobiology
Depositing User: Rgcb Library
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2018 06:38
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2019 07:56
URI: http://rgcb.sciencecentral.in/id/eprint/677

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