Long-term Potentiation and Learning
Professor Seth Grant discusses the complicated relationship between long-term potentiation and learning/memory.
The relationship between the physiological process known as long-term potentiation and long-term depression to the behavioral process of learning is a highly controversial and exciting area of research. Long before the electrophysiology was discovered, it was proposed, back in the late 1900â€™s in fact, that the change in the efficiency of synapses could be a very good way to store information in the nervous system. Many decades after that, electrophysiological investigators found such a phenomenon. However there is a number of reasons to query itâ€™s real central role in learning and memory, and I have to say that at the moment itâ€™s unclear if itâ€™s THE mechanism or the only mechanism involved with learning. There is a number of circumstances where enhancements in long term potentiation are associated with impaired learning, and thereâ€™s impairments in long-term potentiation associated with enhanced learning. So thereâ€™s not a perfect correlation between the two phenomena, which is one of the reasons it remains controversial.
long, term, potentiation, depression, learning, memory, electrophysiology, synapse, controversy, seth grant
Professor Seth Grant explains that long-term potentiation is based on the principle that synapses become stronger with experience.
Professor Seth Grant explains that long-term memories are created when the synapse sends a signal to the nucleus to activate certain genes.
Professor Seth Grant explains that long-term potentiation may last for days or weeks, but is usually studied over the course of several hours.
Professor Seth Grant explains that NMDA receptors are important to forming memories - if we block NMDA receptors, we can block learning.
Professor Seth Grant outlines one way in which the Genes to Cognition Research Programme uses model organisms to study learning and memory in humans.
Professor Kenneth Kosik discusses changes in synapses that accompany long-term potentiation, which include enlarged dendritic spines.
Cognitive information is encoded in patterns of nervous activity and decoded by molecular listening devices at the synapse. Professor Seth Grant explains how different patterns of neural firing are critical to cognition.
Professor Seth Grant introduced the word 'hebbosome' to describe the multiprotein complex that converts neural activity patterns into a memory trace.
Professor Wayne Drevets discusses specific types of learning deficits associated with depression. These may be caused by biochemical impairments in long-term potentiation.
Professor Dennis Selkoe notes amyloid beta oligomers are very potent inhibitors of long-term potentiation (LTP) and can 'short circuit' synapses in the hippocampus.