J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2016 Apr;20(1):1-8. 10.0000/jkgp.2016.20.1.1.

Neurobiological Mechanism of Memory

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Yangsan, Korea.
  • 2Medical Research Institute, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, Korea. psyleekr@naver.com


Memory is one of the most important mental mechanisms which is crucial for us to adapt to environmental surroundings and to maintain our identity. The neurobiological mechanisms for memory are based upon the synaptic plasticity that involve both functional and structural changes at the synapses in the neural circuits participating in learning and memory. Memory is not a single process but has two forms of short-term and long-term memory that are two independent but overlapping processes that blend into one another. The short-term memory depends upon the functional change of synaptic strength but the long-term memory requires anatomic changes of synapses in the neural circuit. Memory storage seems to use elements of a common genetic switch, involving cyclic adenosine monophospate (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase, mitogen activated protein kinase, and cAMP response element-binding protein, to convert short-term memory into long-term memory.


Short-term memory; Long-term memory; Neurobiological mechanism
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