Sidebar: Society for Neuroscience

NEW MESSENGERS: Caltech’s Erin Schuman and colleagues discovered that one form of nitric oxide is important to long-term potentiation.
Can you recall where you were when you heard about the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger? Why is it that, almost universally, people can remember with vivid and instantaneous detail this tragic event when they can't recall what they had for dinner just days before? How are some memories indelibly hard-wired into our brain's circuitry when others are relegated to a short-term, throw-away status?

The relationship between short-term and long-term memory, as well as many other basic questions about learning and various forms of memories, have mystified psychologists and neuroscientists for decades. But now, new biological tools are helping to confirm long-held hunches about the molecular mechanisms governing memory and learning. Studies involving a menagerie of mutant mice and fruit flies-as well as the marine...

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