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Using advanced imaging technology, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have identified a change in chemical influx into a specific set of neurons in the common fruit fly thatis fundamental to long-term memory.

The study was published in the April 13, 2011 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

In studying fruit flies, “learning and long-term memory storage, we observed an increase in calcium influx into a specific set of brain neurons in normal fruit flies thatwas absent in 26 different mutants known to impair long-term memory,” said Ron Davis, chair of the Scripps Research Department of Neuroscience, who led the study. “This logical conclusion is that this increase, which we call a memory trace, is a signature component of long-term memory.”

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