Memory allocation mechanisms underlie memory linking across time

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Memories are dynamic in nature. A cohesive representation of the world requires memories to be altered over time, linked with other memories and eventually integrated into a larger framework of sematic knowledge. Although there is a considerable literature on how single memories are encoded, retrieved and updated, little is known about the mechanisms that govern memory linking, e.g., linking and integration of various memories across hours or days. In this review, we present evidence that specific memory allocation mechanisms, such as changes in CREB and intrinsic excitability, ensure memory storage in ways that facilitate effective recall and linking at a later time. Beyond CREB and intrinsic excitability, we also review a number of other phenomena with potential roles in memory linking.

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