The hypothesis is introduced that miniaturization of neuronal circuits in the central nervous system and the hierarchical organization of the various levels, where information handling can take place, may be the key to understand the enormous capability of the human brain to store engrams as well as its astonishing capacity to reconstruct and organize engrams and thus to perform highly sophisticated integrations. The concept is also proposed that in order to understand the relationship between the structural and functional plasticity of the central nervous system it is necessary to postulate the existence of memory storage at the network level, at the local circuit level, at the synaptic level, at the membrane level, and finally at the molecular level. Thus, memory organization is similar to the hierarchical organization of the various levels, where information handling takes place in the nervous system. In addition, each higher level plays a role in the reconstruction and organization of the engrams stored at lower levels. Thus, the trace of the functionally stored memory (i.e. its reconstruction and organization at various levels of storage) will depend not only on the chemicophysical changes in the membranes of the local circuits but also on the organization of the local circuits themselves and their associated neuronal networks.

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Author notes

*Dedicated to Prof. R. Luft for his outstanding achievements in endocrinology and his provocative and inspiring discussions in biology.