The Glutamate System

Professor Trevor Robbins describes some of the key functions of the excitatory glutamate system, which is integral to information processing and long term potentiation.

The glutamate system of the brain, again it is one of the two major amino acid systems, GABA being the other major one. The glutamate system is a fast-signaling system that is very important for information processing in neuronal networks of the neocortex and hippocampus in particular. Glutamate is very much involved in the process of long-term potentiation, which is a neuronal model of memory. There are at least three major types of glutamate receptors: the AMPA receptor, the NMDA receptor, and the kainate receptor. Some people think that we will discover memory-enhancing drugs by using agents that work at these receptors, one example being the so-called ampakines.

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