David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of the History of Biology 36 (1):153-95 (2003)
Long-Term Potentiation (LTP) is a kind of synaptic plasticity that many contemporary neuroscientists believe is a component in mechanisms of memory. This essay describes the discovery of LTP and the development of the LTP research program. The story begins in the 1950's with the discovery of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus (a medial temporal lobe structure now associated with memory), and it ends in 1973 with the publication of three papers sketching the future course of the LTP research program. The making of LTP was a protracted affair. Hippocampal synaptic plasticity was initially encountered as an experimental tool, then reported as a curiosity, and finally included in the ontic store of the neurosciences. Early researchers were not investigating the hippocampus in search of a memory mechanism; rather, they saw the hippocampus as a useful experimental model or as a structure implicated in the etiology of epilepsy. The link between hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning or memory was a separate conceptual achievement. That link was formulated in at least three different ways at different times: reductively (claiming that plasticity is identical to learning), analogically (claiming that plasticity is an example or model of learning), and mechanistically (claiming that plasticity is a component in learning or memory mechanisms). The hypothesized link with learning or memory, coupled with developments in experimental techniques and preparations, shaped how researchers understood LTP itself. By 1973, the mechanistic formulation of the link between LTP and memory provided an abstract framework around which findings from multiple perspectives could be integrated into a multifield research program
|Keywords||Biology Mechanism Memory Neuroscience Science|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Carl F. Craver (2005). Beyond Reduction: Mechanisms, Multifield Integration and the Unity of Neuroscience. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (2):373-395.
Jacqueline Anne Sullivan (2009). The Multiplicity of Experimental Protocols: A Challenge to Reductionist and Non-Reductionist Models of the Unity of Neuroscience. Synthese 167 (3):511 - 539.
Similar books and articles
John Bickle (2002). Concepts Structured Through Reduction: A Structuralist Resource Illuminates the Consolidation – Long-Term Potentiation (Ltp) Link. Synthese 130 (1):123 - 133.
Clive R. Bramham (1997). State-Dependent Suppression of LTP Induction After Learning: Relation to Phasic Hippocampal Network Events. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):614-615.
Tracey J. Shors & Louis D. Matzel (1997). LTP: Memory, Arousal, Neither, Both. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):634-645.
Stephen Maren (1997). Arousing the LTP and Learning Debate. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):622-623.
Matthew Shapiro & Eric Hargreaves (1997). Long Term Potentiation: Attending to Levels of Organization of Learning and Memory Mechanisms. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):631-632.
Klaus G. Reymann (1997). As in Long-Term Memory, LTP is Consolidated by Reinforcers. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):627-628.
Lev P. Latash (1997). LTP is Neither a Memory Trace nor an Ultimate Mechanism for its Formation: The Beginning of the End of the Synaptic Theory of Neural Memory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):621-622.
Tracey J. Shors & Louis D. Matzel (2000). The Status of LTP as a Mechanism of Memory Formation in the Mammalian Brain. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (2):288-290.
I. C. Reid & C. A. Stewart (1997). Stress, LTP, and Depressive Disorder. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):626-627.
Ken-ichi Hara & Tatsuo Kitajima (1997). LTP Plays a Distinct Role in Various Brain Structures. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):620-620.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads57 ( #42,570 of 1,700,306 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #161,079 of 1,700,306 )
How can I increase my downloads?