LTP via NMDA in neocortex

Bill Skaggs bill at
Mon Mar 11 15:46:32 EST 1996

nkeele at (brad) writes:

   > . . . Another approach is to demonstrate that LTP 
   > actually occurs while learning/memory is taking place (probably  
   > can't be addressed with the technology available today).

The problem is not so much inadequate technology as inadequate
understanding of the molecular basis of LTP.  LTP is a long-lasting
change in synaptic efficacy induced by strong, repetitive stimulation
of certain pathways in the hippocampus.  Unfortunately, we don't yet
fully understand the molecular changes that underlie this change in
efficacy -- we understand a lot, and a little more each year, but not
yet the whole story.  Consequently, when we perform a learning
experiment and observe a change in synaptic efficacy -- and this has
certainly been done -- we can never be quite sure that the molecular
basis of this change is the same as the molecular basis of LTP.  If we
really knew what LTP is, we would probably have the technology to
recognize it.

	-- Bill

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