Pattern and predictability in memory formation: from molecular mechanisms to clinical relevance

Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2013 Oct;105:117-24. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2013.05.003. Epub 2013 May 28.


Most long-term memories are formed as a consequence of multiple experiences. The temporal spacing of these experiences is of considerable importance: experiences distributed over time (spaced training) are more easily encoded and remembered than either closely spaced experiences, or a single prolonged experience (massed training). In this article, we first review findings from studies in animal model systems that examine the cellular and molecular properties of the neurons and circuits in the brain that underlie training pattern sensitivity during long-term memory (LTM) formation. We next focus on recent findings which have begun to elucidate the mechanisms that support inter-trial interactions during the induction of LTM. Finally, we consider the implications of these findings for developing therapeutic strategies to address questions of direct clinical relevance.

Keywords: Learning; Memory; Spacing effect; Training pattern.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Memory, Long-Term / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Neuronal Plasticity*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical