The Francis Crick Institute
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The essence of the engram: Cellular or synaptic?

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-13, 11:32 authored by Dae Hee Han, Pojeong Park, Dong Il Choi, Tim VP Bliss, Bong-Kiun Kaang
Memory is composed of various phases including cellular consolidation, systems consolidation, reconsolidation, and extinction. In the last few years it has been shown that simple association memories can be encoded by a subset of the neuronal population called engram cells. Activity of these cells is necessary and sufficient for the recall of association memory. However, it is unclear which molecular mechanisms allow cellular engrams to encode the diverse phases of memory. Further research is needed to examine the possibility that it is the synapses between engram cells (the synaptic engram) that constitute the memory. In this review we summarize recent findings on cellular engrams with a focus on different phases of memory, and discuss the distinct molecular mechanism required for cellular and synaptic engrams.