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JST Press Release

January 27, 2017
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
5-3, Yonbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8666

Cell ensemble mechanisms underlying the link between memories

The team led by the research director Kaoru Inokuchi, Professor at University of Toyama, reports neural circuit mechanism underlying the association of memories. The team trained mice to form two separate aversive memories, conditioned taste aversion (CTA) and auditory fear conditioning (AFC). The team then linked these two unrelated memories by repeated retrieval. The numbers of neurons activated by retrieval of CTA and AFC memories, denoted as overlapping neurons, increased in the amygdala. The team successfully disconnected the link between CTA and AFC memories by optically silencing the activity of overlapping neurons without affecting recall of individual memories.

Program Information

Research Area “BIODYNAMICS”
Research Theme “Memory integration process based on cell assembly and neural circuit model”

Journal Information

“Overlapping memory trace indispensable for linking, but not recalling, individual memories”. Science, 355, 398-403, January 27, 2017, doi: 10.1126/science.aal2690


[About Research]
Kaoru Inokuchi, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama

[About Program]
Tetsu Kawaguchi
Department of Innovation Research, JST


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