Associative memory cells: Formation, function and perspective

F1000Res. 2017 Mar 17;6:283. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.11096.2. eCollection 2017.


Associative learning and memory are common activities in life, and their cellular infrastructures constitute the basis of cognitive processes. Although neuronal plasticity emerges after memory formation, basic units and their working principles for the storage and retrieval of associated signals remain to be revealed. Current reports indicate that associative memory cells, through their mutual synapse innervations among the co-activated sensory cortices, are recruited to fulfill the integration, storage and retrieval of multiple associated signals, and serve associative thinking and logical reasoning. In this review, we aim to summarize associative memory cells in their formation, features and functional impacts.

Keywords: Associative memory cell (AMC); learning and cognition; neuron; synapse.

Publication types

  • Review

Grant support

This study is funded by National Basic Research Program (2013CB531304, 2016YFC1307100) and Natural Science Foundation China (81671071, 81471123) to JHW.