Chapter

Predicting Not to Predict Too Much: How the Cellular Machinery of Memory Anticipates the Uncertain Future

Yadin Dudai

in Predictions in the Brain

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780195395518
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897230 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395518.003.0104
Predicting Not to Predict Too Much: How the Cellular Machinery of Memory Anticipates the Uncertain Future

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This chapter addresses the following question: How does the cellular machinery of long-term memory anticipate the uncertain future, where the future lies at least a day head? Memories are made mostly for the sake of present and future. Experience-dependent modifications in the individual's behavior draw on the past to permit better adapted responses to ongoing reality as well as to the reality to come. Being able to anticipate even limited types or aspects of events is expected to endow the species with significant advantages. Under certain contextual and temporal conditions, our brain seems to be able to do just that. This requires that the plasticity machinery in the brain operate under the assumption that the future is uncertain and that information stored is likely to require quick and recurrent updating. This assumption should be reflected at multiple levels of organization of the brain, including at the synaptic and cellular level.

Keywords: brain; predictions; future; plasticity; synaptic level; cellular level

Chapter.  7137 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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