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What I mean is, during long term potentiation (LTP) or long term depression (LTD) for a particular memory, do the strengthening and/or weakening of neuronal connections only occur in a small patch of neurons or regions spread out in the cortex?

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  • $\begingroup$ LTD and LTP happen at individual synapses (not even whole of neurons). However LTP/LTD at one synapse can affect others in the vicinity. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Sep 27 '16 at 7:26
  • $\begingroup$ OK I meant something like when a single episodic memory episode is stored, is the memory stored in diffuse locations or rather localized? $\endgroup$ – SorcererofDM Sep 28 '16 at 4:49
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LTP and LTD are processes that operate on single synapses. We don't know how "memories" (there are several types of "memory") are encoded in the human nervous system. As a consequence, we don't yet understand the explicit link between some group of synaptically connected neurons, and a given memory.

So the short answer is "we don't know". Take a look at some of the other questions about memories in human brains: 1, 2

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