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Unformatted text preview: strategies affect our brains at the neural
level? We saw from previous sections on elaborative encoding, categories and schemas that we give LTM a
unique internal organization. Does that mean that there must be a “memory center” of the brain where all
memories are organized for quick retrieval? Additionally, how do diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and
conditions such as amnesia cause us to forget information we have already stored in the brain? To answer
these questions, we must think of the brain at two different levels: at the level of neurons and at the level of
The ability to maintain information in LTM involves a gradual strengthening of the connections among the
neurons in the brain. When pathways in these neural networks are frequently and repeatedly fired, the
synapses become more efficient in communicating with each other, and these changes create memory. This
process, known as long-term potentiation (LTP), refers to the strengthening of the synaptic
connections between neurons as result of frequent stimulation.  Drugs that block LTP reduce learning,
whereas drugs that enhance LTP increase learning.  Because the new patterns of activation in the synapses
take time to develop, LTP happens gradually. The period of time in which LTP...
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This note was uploaded on 03/09/2014 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 1101 taught by Professor Parks,nate during the Spring '08 term at Georgia Institute of Technology.
- Spring '08