The tripartite mechanism as the basis for a biochemical memory engram

J Integr Neurosci. 2019 Jun 30;18(2):181-185. doi: 10.31083/j.jin.2019.02.6101.


In this paper, we address the enigma of the memory engram, the physical trace of memory in terms of its composition, processes, and location. A neurochemical approach assumes that neural processes hinge on the same terms used to describe the biochemical functioning of other biological tissues and organs. We define a biochemical process, a tripartite mechanism involving the interactions of neurons with their neural extracellular matrix, trace metals, and neurotransmitters as the basis of a biochemical memory engram. The latter inextricably link physiological responses, including sensations with affective states, such as emotions.

Keywords: Cognitive information; affective biochemistry; emotive memory; extracellular matrix; memory engram; neurotransmitters; trace metals.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biochemical Phenomena
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neurons / physiology*