Neural Correlates and Molecular Mechanisms of Memory and Learning
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  • Release Date: 2024-04-15
  • neural correlates
  • memory
  • learning
  • aging
  • neuronal plasticity
  • fear
  • anxiety
  • dopamine
  • N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)
  • neuroscience
Video Introduction

This video is adapted from 10.3390/ijms25052724

Memory and learning are essential cognitive processes that enable us to obtain, retain, and recall information. These factors are crucial for survival, adaptation, and creativity. However, the neural and molecular mechanisms that underlie these cognitive functions are not fully elucidated. For decades, researchers have been fascinated by the neurobiological and molecular basis of acquiring, storing, and retrieving information [1]. Recent neuroimaging technologies have provided valuable insights into underlying neuroanatomical brain circuits [2][3][4][5][6][7]. The amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex (PFC) are pivotal for shaping memory and facilitating learning. The amygdala, recognized for its significance in emotional processing, interacts with downstream structures such as the hypothalamus and brainstem regions, influencing the expression of emotionally charged responses [8][9][10]. The inhibitory mechanisms within the amygdala, including specific divisions and nuclei, contribute to memory modulation. The hippocampus, which is essential for spatial navigation and contextual memory, forms direct projections with the infralimbic cortex in the PFC and the basolateral amygdala [11][12]. Distinct subregions of the hippocampus have been implicated in various human behavioral features, highlighting their multifaceted roles in cognitive processes. Authors will provide a brief overview of the main findings and contributions of each article in this Special Issue, as well as identify knowledge gaps and areas for future research. Authors hope that this Special Issue will inspire further exploration of the neural correlates and molecular mechanisms of memory and learning, as well as encourage interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers in this fascinating area of neuroscience. 

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  2. Battaglia, S.; Schmidt, A.; Hassel, S.; Tanaka, M. Case reports in neuroimaging and stimulation. Front. Psychiatry 2023, 14, 1264669.
  3. Tanaka, M.; Diano, M.; Battaglia, S. Insights into structural and functional organization of the brain: Evidence from neuroimaging and non-invasive brain stimulation techniques. Front. Psychiatry 2023, 14, 1225755.
  4. Burlet, S.; Tyler, C.J.; Leonard, C.S. Direct and indirect excitation of laterodorsal tegmental neurons by hypocretin/orexin peptides: Implications for wakefulness and narcolepsy. J. Neurosci. 2002, 22, 2862–2872.
  5. Nani, A.; Manuello, J.; Mancuso, L.; Liloia, D.; Costa, T.; Vercelli, A.; Duca, S.; Cauda, F. The pathoconnectivity network analysis of the insular cortex: A morphometric fingerprinting. NeuroImage 2021, 225, 117481.
  6. Liloia, D.; Crocetta, A.; Cauda, F.; Duca, S.; Costa, T.; Manuello, J. Seeking Overlapping Neuroanatomical Alterations between Dyslexia and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Meta-Analytic Replication Study. Brain Sci. 2022, 12, 1367.
  7. Liloia, D.; Cauda, F.; Uddin, L.Q.; Manuello, J.; Mancuso, L.; Keller, R.; Nani, A.; Costa, T. Revealing the selectivity of neuroanatomical alteration in autism spectrum disorder via reverse inference. Biol. Psychiatry Cogn. Neurosci. Neuroimaging 2023, 8, 1075–1083.
  8. Lonsdorf, T.B.; Haaker, J.; Kalisch, R. Long-term expression of human contextual fear and extinction memories involves amygdala, hippocampus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex: A reinstatement study in two independent samples. Soc. Cogn. Affect. Neurosci. 2014, 9, 1973–1983.
  9. Maren, S.; Quirk, G.J. Neuronal signalling of fear memory. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 2004, 5, 844–852.
  10. Sidor, M.M.; Spencer, S.M.; Dzirasa, K.; Parekh, P.K.; Tye, K.M.; Warden, M.R.; Arey, R.N.; Enwright, J.R.; Jacobsen, J.P.; Kumar, S. Daytime spikes in dopaminergic activity drive rapid mood-cycling in mice. Mol. Psychiatry 2015, 20, 1406–1419.
  11. Hugues, S.; Garcia, R. Reorganization of learning-associated prefrontal synaptic plasticity between the recall of recent and remote fear extinction memory. Learn. Mem. 2007, 14, 520–524.
  12. Gewirtz, J.C.; McNish, K.A.; Davis, M. Is the hippocampus necessary for contextual fear conditioning? Behav. Brain Res. 2000, 110, 83–95.
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Tanaka, M.; Battaglia, S.; Avenanti, A.; Vécsei, L. Neural Correlates and Molecular Mechanisms of Memory and Learning. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 26 May 2024).
Tanaka M, Battaglia S, Avenanti A, Vécsei L. Neural Correlates and Molecular Mechanisms of Memory and Learning. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed May 26, 2024.
Tanaka, Masaru, Simone Battaglia, Alessio Avenanti, László Vécsei. "Neural Correlates and Molecular Mechanisms of Memory and Learning" Encyclopedia, (accessed May 26, 2024).
Tanaka, M., Battaglia, S., Avenanti, A., & Vécsei, L. (2024, April 15). Neural Correlates and Molecular Mechanisms of Memory and Learning. In Encyclopedia.
Tanaka, Masaru, et al. "Neural Correlates and Molecular Mechanisms of Memory and Learning." Encyclopedia. Web. 15 April, 2024.
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