Synapse changes during learning
Professor Kenneth Kosik discusses changes in synapses that accompany long-term potentiation, which include enlarged dendritic spines.
Learning in the brain is very complicated; it involves a large amount of brain tissue. Scientists however, as reductionists, tend to want to narrow things down further and further to the level of cells and molecules. For that reason, we have begun to actually look at synapses during learning and memory. There is a physiological approach in which one can change the thresholds of synapses by repeatedly stimulating them, called long-term potentiation (LTP), that is thought to be a reductionist correlate at the single synapse level of learning. Now when LTP takes place at a synapse, there are a number of changes that take place there that have fascinated neurobiologists for many years. Among those changes are shape changes; that is, protrusions from the dendrites, that carry the synapse, called spines, will enlarge. Another feature of the change in synaptic threshold is that proteins begin to be translated locally at the synapse. This is an area of intense jnterest right now because those proteins, that are being translated locally in the synapse, involved in learning, are probably going to turn out to be critical mediators of this process.
long term potentiation, ltp, learning, dendrites, spine, synapse, dendritic, kenneth, kosik
Professor James Eberwine discusses the structural changes in a cell related to long-term potentiation. These include changes in the shape of dendritic spines.
Professor Kenneth Kosik discusses some of the key issues relating to local changes at the synapse that mediate learning. RNA is particularly important in this regard.
Professor Tom O'Dell describes the role played by NMDA receptors, as part of a large multi-protein complex, in facilitating long-term potentiation (LTP).
Long-term Potentiation of synaptic transmission is commonly referred to as LTP. It can be recorded in many parts of the nervous system, but is very widely studied in the hippocampus.
Professor Graham Collingridge describes the process of long-term potentiation (LTP) - the process by which synapses increase their efficiency.
Professor Tom O'Dell defines depotentiation - the erasure of long-term potentiation (LTP) at the synapse.
Professor Wayne Drevets discusses specific types of learning deficits associated with depression. These may be caused by biochemical impairments in long-term potentiation.
Professor Kenneth Kosik discusses the neuropathology of Alzheimer's disease, which affects the hippocampus, amygdala, and cortical areas. Areas, such as the cerebellum, are unaffected.
Professor Graham Collingridge describes the roles played by NMDA and AMPA receptors in long-term potentiation (LTP).
Professor Bruce McEwen discusses the remodeling of dendrites, which are affected by BDNF, TPA, cell-adhesion molecules, and a number of other factors.