The biological bases of learning and memory genes are being revealed today with a wide array of molecular approaches, most of which entail the analysis of dysfunction produced by gene disruptions. Aplysia, Drosophila melanogaster, Mice has served as model systems for the investigation of many cellular and developmental processes. The formation of long-term memories requires the synthesis of new mRNA. Genetic approaches over the past several decades have identified signaling transduction mechanisms and transcription factors that guide this process and genes that have increased expression after learning. The expression patterns of these genes are elucidating systems and network-level questions about learning and memory. The human brain the control center that stores, computes, integrates, and transmits information contains about 10Â¹Â² neurons (nerve cells), each forming as many as a thousand connections with
other neurons. Millions of other neurons regulate the contraction of muscles and the secretion of hormones. The nervous system also contains glial (neuroglial) cells that occupy the spaces between neurons and modulate their functions. The function of neurons is to communicate information, which it does by two methods. Electric signals process and conduct information within a cell, while chemical signals transmit information between cells, utilizing processes similar to those employed by other types of cells to signal each other.
Last date updated on July, 2014