Synaptic tagging during memory allocation

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2014 Mar;15(3):157-69. doi: 10.1038/nrn3667. Epub 2014 Feb 5.


There is now compelling evidence that the allocation of memory to specific neurons (neuronal allocation) and synapses (synaptic allocation) in a neurocircuit is not random and that instead specific mechanisms, such as increases in neuronal excitability and synaptic tagging and capture, determine the exact sites where memories are stored. We propose an integrated view of these processes, such that neuronal allocation, synaptic tagging and capture, spine clustering and metaplasticity reflect related aspects of memory allocation mechanisms. Importantly, the properties of these mechanisms suggest a set of rules that profoundly affect how memories are stored and recalled.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dendritic Spines / physiology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology*