#MindBlown: Discover how the #CircadianClockGene unlocks the secrets of memory formation! 🧠💡

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Gene That Regulates Memory Formation Discovered

Gene That Regulates Memory Formation Discovered


A gene that plays a key role in regulating how bodies change across the 24-hour day also influences memory formation, allowing mice to consolidate memories better during the day than at night. Researchers at Penn State tested the memory of mice during the day and at night, then identified genes whose activity fluctuated in a memory-related region of the brain in parallel with memory performance.

Link Between Circadian System and Memory Formation

The research demonstrates a link between the circadian system and memory formation and begins to piece together the molecular mechanisms that help form and keep memories. Understanding these mechanisms and the influence of time of day on memory formation could help researchers to determine how and when people learn best.

Research Findings

  • The gene, Period 1, which is known to be involved in the body’s circadian clock, is crucial for improved daytime memory performance.
  • Mice exposed to the memory location task during the day formed stronger long-term memories than mice exposed to the task at night.
  • Memory acquisition and memory retrieval were not impacted by time of day, suggesting that memory consolidation was the main driver in the differences seen in memory performance between day and night.
  • Period 1 gene seems to function independently to regulate memory in the hippocampus, suggesting it ‘moonlights’ to regulate memory consolidation across the day/night cycle.

Implications and Future Research

Understanding how memories form at the molecular level could help researchers better understand memory-related dysfunctions and potentially develop ways to address them. The connection between the circadian clock and memory formation could also be important for understanding how and when people learn best.


The discovery of the gene Period 1 and its role in memory formation sheds light on the intricate relationship between the circadian system and memory. Further research is needed to explore other genes involved in memory formation and their activity following learning.


Journal reference: DOI: 10.1038/s41386-023-01616-1

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