The role of intrinsic excitability in the evolution of memory: Significance in memory allocation, consolidation, and updating

Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2020 Sep;173:107266. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2020.107266. Epub 2020 Jun 5.


Memory is a dynamic process that is continuously regulated by both synaptic and intrinsic neural mechanisms. While numerous studies have shown that synaptic plasticity is important in various types and phases of learning and memory, neuronal intrinsic excitability has received relatively less attention, especially regarding the dynamic nature of memory. In this review, we present evidence demonstrating the importance of intrinsic excitability in memory allocation, consolidation, and updating. We also consider the intricate interaction between intrinsic excitability and synaptic plasticity in shaping memory, supporting both memory stability and flexibility.

Keywords: Intrinsic excitability; Memory allocation; Memory consolidation; Memory updating; Synaptic plasticity; Temporal memory-linking.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Learning / physiology
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Memory Consolidation / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*