memory question?

Scott Jacoves scjacove at
Sat Sep 2 17:39:38 EST 1995

 Hi. Two points.

     I think the easiest way to get a good feel for the entire LTP
discussion is get thee to an infotrack and pull down the 
references from _Science_. Kandel, Schwartz and Jessell have a 
decent neurology text and there is a chapter on LTP by Kandel
himself, back in the Aplaysia days. It's called _Principles of 
Neural Science_.
     The second thing is that LTP is an example of the brain's
plasticity, but it may not necessarily be "memory". There is
this assumption that if we see something changing in the brain
then it"s a memory, but in my (admittedly limited) knowledge
of the field no one has proposed a hypothesis that can 
explain both the biochemical and phenomenological
observations. Sure, LTP may be and probably is a component 
of either memory formation or maintenance, but we have no reason
to believe that it me be the whole thing. The assumption is
somewhat dangerous, for we could easily ignore other approaches
to memory research in the desire to work on the hot topic.
     I'm not belittling LTP, I find it fascinating. I'm just
calling for humility in the interpertation of the mechanisms

 P.S. The NO component is thought to be a retrograde 
neuraltransmitter that increases transmitter release, and thus
strengthens the signal. I think that CAM 2 is the step before
but am not quite sure, it has been too long so I'd rather not
put my foot in my mouth.


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