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    The cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory across the brain, in both healthy and diseased states.

    Animals must learn to survive, and the brain is the learning machine that does the job. But how does it do it? In this paper, we critically examine the neural mechanisms of learning and memory beyond synaptic plasticity, such as homeostatic plasticity, metaplasticity, intrinsic plasticity and neurogenesis. We also explore the evidence as to whether humans show synaptic or other plasticity, and how plasticity mechanisms become impaired in Alzheimer's disease.

    About this paper

    Paper title Nervous System Plasticity in Health and Disease
    Subject Psychology
    EFTS 0.0833
    Points 10 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $723.96
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    PSYC 430
    PSYC 474

    Entry into Psychology 400-level normally requires a major in Psychology, a B+ average or higher in Psychology 300-level papers, and a pass in PSYC 311 Quantitative Methods. We highly recommend that students have completed PSYC 310 and PSYC 317 or equivalent. Students from other universities must show evidence of an equivalent level of competence.

    For Neuroscience students, the prerequisites are met by completion of the requirements for a BSc in Neuroscience with an average grade of at least B+ in 300-level Neuroscience papers.

    Completion of PSYC430 in the first semester is recommended, but not required.


    Teaching staff

    Professor Wickliffe Abraham

    Paper Structure

    The paper covers three key themes:

    • Novel memory storage mechanisms and regulators
    • Synaptic plasticity in humans
    • Mechanisms of memory and plasticity deficits in Alzheimer's disease

    Textbooks are not required for this paper. Readings will be primary articles and reviews.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will be able to understand, critically assess and discuss both orally and in written form the evidence regarding novel memory mechanisms in health and disease.


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Wednesday 09:00-11:50 29-35, 37-42
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