Humans and sea snails have a lot in common when it comes to learning and memory. Indeed, neuroscientists have found that little has changed at a cellular level since we departed evolutionarily from these mollusks. And this is just one of the recent findings that has brought neuroscientists to the edge of translating the molecular biology of nerve cells into an understanding of how humans first obtain and then retain information, sound, and images throughout the 70, 80, or even 100 years of a lifetime. A marriage between molecular biology and psychology may soon be in the offing.

"Learning and memory is popping up in all kinds of places, not just psychology, where you expect it, but in cell biology, in physiology, in anatomy, in computation," says neuroscientist Thomas Carew, chairman of psychology at Yale University. "This tremendously important and interesting field is now seen as a legitimate topic for...

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