Mechanisms of Memory

1st Edition

Authors: J. David Sweatt
Hardcover ISBN: 9780126789577
eBook ISBN: 9780080521961
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 16th October 2003
Page Count: 350
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This book stands as the first unified overview of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying higher-order learning and memory. It integrates modern discoveries concerning learning and memory disorders such as mental retardation syndromes and Alzheimer's Disease, while also emphasizing the results gained from the cutting-edge research methodologies of genetic engineering, complex behavioral characterization, proteomics, and molecular biology. This book provides a foundation of experimental design that will be useful to all students pursuing an interest in laboratory research. This book is an enlightening and invaluable resource for anyone concerned with memory mechanisms.

Key Features

  • Presents a unified view of memory mechanisms from behavior to genes and drawing examples from many different brain regions, types of learning, and various animal model systems
  • Includes numerous practical examples for the new investigator on how to implement research program in the area of learning and memory
  • Provides a balanced treatment of the strengths and weaknesses in modern experimental design


Neuroscience graduate students and researchers interested in learning and memory, as well as neurologists and psychiatrists.

Table of Contents

Introduction - the basics of psychological learning and memory theory Rodent behavioral learning and memory models The hippocampus serves a role in multimodal information processing, and memory consolidation Long-term Potentiation as a physiological phenomenon Complexities of Long-term Potentiation The biochemistry of LTP induction Biochemical mechanisms for short-term information storage at the cellular level Biochemical mechanisms for long-term information storage at the cellular level LTP does not equal memory Inherited disorders of human memory—mental retardation syndromes Aging-related memory disorders—Alzheimer's DiseaseThe chemistry of perpetual memory


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About the Author

J. David Sweatt

David Sweatt obtained his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of South Alabama before attending Vanderbilt University, where he was awarded a Ph.D. for studies of intracellular signaling mechanisms. He then did a post-doctoral Fellowship at the Columbia University Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, working on memory mechanisms in the laboratory of Nobel laureate Eric Kandel. From 1989 to 2006 he was a member of the Neuroscience faculty at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, rising through the ranks there to Professor and Director of the Neuroscience Ph.D. program. Dr. Sweatt’s laboratory studies biochemical mechanisms of learning and memory. In addition, his research program also investigates mechanisms of learning and memory disorders, such as mental retardation and aging-related memory dysfunction. He is currently the Evelyn F. McKnight endowed Chairman of the Department of Neurobiology at UAB Medical School, and the Director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He also is a Professor the Departments of Cell Biology, Genetics, and Psychology at UAB. Dr. Sweatt has won numerous awards and honors, including an Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar Award, and election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This year he won (along with Michael Meaney and Catherine Dulac) the Ipsen Foundation International Prize in Neural Plasticity, one of the most prestigious awards in his scientific field. From 1998 until 2002 he attended drawing and painting classes at the Glassell School of Art of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. As an artist he explores the use of painting as a medium for expressing topics of interest in contemporary biomedical research. In 2009 he published a textbook, Mechanisms of Memory, which is illustrated with original paintings and describes current models for the molecular and cellular basis of memory formation.

Affiliations and Expertise

McKnight Brain Institute, Department of Neurobiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA


"The book is well written and includes interesting and illustrative text inserts as well as colorful fugures with detailed explanations. Mechanisms of Memory is a successful integration of recent discoveries and technological advances applied to learning and memory at many different levels that will appeal to its target audience of advanced undergraduates and graduates across a number of disciplines." --AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY (November 2005, 162:11) "This is an exceptional book in more than one aspect. David Sweatt has written a monograph in which long term potentiation (LTP) is central issue. However, this book is not an endless presentation of all the numerous experiments into a context of learning and memory...the book presents a real opportunity for the advanced student, and the interested scientists, to learn more about LTP and how to put it into a perspective...The illustrations in the book are of high quality, informative and to the point. Every chapter is introduced at an abstract level, the last item I wanted to mention which makes this a special book, bringing long term reminiscences of Rothko and Pollock." - Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy (2005)