Memory engram storage and retrieval

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2015 Dec;35:101-9. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2015.07.009. Epub 2015 Aug 14.


A great deal of experimental investment is directed towards questions regarding the mechanisms of memory storage. Such studies have traditionally been restricted to investigation of the anatomical structures, physiological processes, and molecular pathways necessary for the capacity of memory storage, and have avoided the question of how individual memories are stored in the brain. Memory engram technology allows the labeling and subsequent manipulation of components of specific memory engrams in particular brain regions, and it has been established that cell ensembles labeled by this method are both sufficient and necessary for memory recall. Recent research has employed this technology to probe fundamental questions of memory consolidation, differentiating between mechanisms of memory retrieval from the true neurobiology of memory storage.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amnesia, Retrograde / metabolism
  • Amnesia, Retrograde / physiopathology*
  • Animals
  • Genes, Immediate-Early / genetics
  • Genes, Immediate-Early / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Optogenetics / methods*