Acetylcholine and memory

Michael E. Hasselmo, James M. Bower

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

347 Scopus citations


Acetylcholine may set the dynamics of cortical networks to those appropriate for learning of new information, while decreased cholinergic modulation may set the appropriate dynamics for recall. In slice preparations of the olfactory cortex, acetylcholine selectively suppresses intrinsic but not afferent fiber synaptic transmission, while decreasing the adaptation of pyramidal cells. In biologically realistic models of this region, the selective suppression of synaptic transmission prevents recall of previously learned memories from interfering with the learning of new memories, while the decrease in adaptation enhances the response to afferent input and the modification of synapses. This theoretical framework may serve to guide future studies linking neuromodulators to cortical memory function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-222
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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