Induction of long-term memory by exposure to novelty requires protein synthesis: evidence for a behavioral tagging

J Neurosci. 2007 Jul 11;27(28):7476-81. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1083-07.2007.


A behavioral analog of the synaptic tagging and capture process, a key property of synaptic plasticity, has been predicted recently. Here, we demonstrate that weak inhibitory avoidance training, which induces short- but not long-term memory (LTM), can be consolidated into LTM by an exploration to a novel, but not a familiar, environment occurring close in time to the training session. This memory-promoting effect caused by novelty depends on activation of dopamine D1/D5 receptors and requires newly synthesized proteins in the dorsal hippocampus. Thus, our results indicate the existence of a behavioral tagging process in which the exploration to a novel environment provides the plasticity-related proteins to stabilize the inhibitory avoidance memory trace.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology
  • Exploratory Behavior / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1 / physiology
  • Receptors, Dopamine D5 / physiology
  • Time Factors


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1
  • Receptors, Dopamine D5