Biochem of LTP (was Re: biochem of learning)

James Olds olds at helix.nih.gov
Sat Dec 19 09:15:49 EST 1992


In article <1gv64lINNh8b at neuro.usc.edu> merlin at neuro.usc.edu (merlin) writes:
>If you believe LTP (long term potentiation is related to learning
>and memory) then you should take a look at:
>
>Kuba-K & Kumamoto-E.  Long-term potentiation in vertebrate synapses:
>a variety of cascades with common subprocesses.  Progress in
>Neurobiology 34:197-269 (1990).
>
>Baudry-M.  "An integrated biochemical model for long-term potentiation."
>Long-Term Potentiation: A Debate of Current Issues.  Baudry-M & Davis-JL
>(eds).  MIT Press 1991.  ISBN 0-262-02330-X.
>

...and for those of us who don't :-) ????
 Seriously, it worries me that there is a quasi-religious belief
 floating around in the field that LTP is the same thing as
 learning. While I have no doubt that these two phenomena (one 
 produced by the experimenter, the other prooduced by nature) do
 in fact share certain biochemical and biophysical characteristics,
 I also havee a hunch that there are certain aspects of LTP which
 are non-related to real memory formation (and I guess therefore
 could be called artifactual). That is why, I am a big fan of
 studying real learning and memory by....
 yes, studying the real phenomenon. That way the issues don't gete
 confused. We aren't left to decipher what was and what wasn't part
 of the real McCoy.

 Historically, the critisisms for my point of view tended to
 revolve around the idea that with the "study learning to understand
 learning" approach, it would be impossible to get molecular...thee
 system was too complicated. However, history (i.e. 30 years of
 research in this area) has shown that this critism doesn't hold
 water.

 Flame on (grin)


--
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* James L. Olds Ph.D.                 Neural Systems Section               *
* domain: olds at helix.nih.gov           NINDS, NIH, Bethesda, MD. 20892 USA *
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