The way I understand it, memory goes through calcium influx induced LTP (Long Term potentiation) for short term storage. Long term storage requires protein synthesis. (#1).

However, a meta-analysis (#2) shows that:

a procedural memory may never become fully stable and instead remains vulnerable to interference. When exposed to task B, participants may have retrieved the procedural memory associated with task A and modified it, ‘overwriting’ the memory for task A with information relevant to task B............ It implies that learning a new skill leads to the automatic destruction of another skill. It would never be possible to have skill in more than one task! Our ability to acquire multiple skills may depend upon having contextual cues available to signal the switch from one task to another.

This indicates that procedural memory never goes through protein synthesis. The problem is, procedural memory can be divided into three parts: 1. Motor, 2. Perceptual, 3. Cognitive (#3). We all know that motor skills are not volatile after being practiced. Only something like Parkinson's disease can damage motor skills (#4) while perceptual skills seem even more secure. Cognitive procedural memory alone seems very vulnerable, but I don't know why this is an exception.

Is there any theory that explains how our brain can store motor skills without any apparent LTP and protein synthesis phases?

#1. Biopsychology by John P. J. Pinel 6th ed. P. 285

#2. http://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(04)00937-6.pdf

#3. http://medicalfinder.jp/doi/abs/10.11477/mf.1416100315

#4. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01688639008400978

  • $\begingroup$ Voting to close, there is just too much overlapping sources and information, multiple questions and hypothesis to make a clear question/answer. $\endgroup$ – Keno Apr 20 '17 at 16:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @I have already mentioned that my sources are conflicting. Can you kindly suggest an edit? $\endgroup$ – Spero Apr 20 '17 at 17:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So my main issue is that from the first few words there are inaccuracies >"The way I understand it, memory" Memory is not an unitary term, which specific memory ( which in itself is a debated topic) are you referring to and based on which model. And on and on, so I could spend the day picking your post apart, I recommend a few books: Cognitive Neuroscience ( Gazzaniga ), The Oxford Handbook of Memory ( Tulving ) Memory: From Mind to Molecules ( Kandel ) Learning and Memory (Gluck), you can edit it, but I would recommend narrowing it down. $\endgroup$ – Keno Apr 20 '17 at 17:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Keno, if you see some inaccuracies in one's initial knowledge, assumptions or research, perhaps you could provide some clarification in an answer? I see a nicely researched an clear question to be fair. Spero, related is cogsci.stackexchange.com/q/13693/11318 in which I gave one of my earlier, not (well) referenced or thorough answer. $\endgroup$ – Robin Kramer Apr 20 '17 at 18:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @StevenJeuris Sorry about that. Old habits die hard. Frankly speaking, I get VTCs a lot and the silent ones are most troublesome because I don't know what to do. At least Keno explained the reason and gave me a chance to discuss it. My "too broad" questions are often the result of poor understanding which I need help with. Writing a specific question with poor understanding of the basics often result in a question which is of no use (like my previous question. Now I know that procedural memory does not seem go through hippocampus, so I really learned nothing from the previous question). $\endgroup$ – Spero Apr 21 '17 at 10:03

I second the comments on the question that the question-post looks kind of convoluted. But it seems it all boils down to the question:

How does our brain store motor skills without any apparent long-term potentiation or protein synthesis?

I personally think the question premise, i.e. "LTP and protein synthesis are not involved in motor learning", is incorrect to start with.

  • Firstly, motor learning has been linked to long-term potentiation in the primary motor cortex (Avinzino et al., 2015);
  • Secondly, protein expression is involved in motor learning as well. Fos expression has been used for decades as an immunohistochemical protein marker for neural activation. Fos expression in the motor cortex has been linked to motor learning, alongside synaptogenisis processes (Kleim et al., 1996).

- Avinzino et al., Front Behav Neurosci (2015); 9:105
- Kleim et al., J Neurosci (1996); 16(14): 4529-35

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer. Now that the misconception has been removed front mind, I can think more directly. I guess I should have asked whether that meat analysis was correct. That would have been more straightforward. $\endgroup$ – Spero Apr 20 '17 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ If LTP for motor learning happens in motor cortex, that means hippocampus plays no role here. Strange. Now I need to find what is special about motor cortex that makes its memories so permanent. $\endgroup$ – Spero Apr 20 '17 at 19:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Spero - If your question has generated a new question, please feel more than free to ask a new question. It sounds like an interesting one. This one clarified the premise, a new, separate question is totally valid. PS - I would rather post a new question, rather than editing this post as it has an upvoted answer. You can always link to this post in your other question. Anyways - up to you :-) $\endgroup$ – AliceD Apr 20 '17 at 20:34
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thx do the advise. Don't worry. I will only post a new question after performing as much research on it as I can. $\endgroup$ – Spero Apr 20 '17 at 20:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I found out that permanent motor skills (those that become muscle memory) are stored in Basal Ganglia, not in Motor Cortex. Maybe that meta-analysis is not completely bogus after-all. Maybe motor cortex memories stay fragile even after protein synthesis, although I still don't know how long it takes until a memory goes through protein synthesis. $\endgroup$ – Spero Apr 21 '17 at 18:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.