David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):597-614 (1997)
Long-term potentiation (LTP) is operationally defined as a long-lasting increase in synaptic efficacy following high-frequency stimulation of afferent fibers. Since the first full description of the phenomenon in 1973, exploration of the mechanisms underlying LTP induction has been one of the most active areas of research in neuroscience. Of principal interest to those who study LTP, particularly in the mammalian hippocampus, is its presumed role in the establishment of stable memories, a role consistent with descriptions of memory formation. Other characteristics of LTP, including its rapid induction, persistence, and correlation with natural brain rhythms, provide circumstantial support for this connection to memory storage. Nonetheless, there is little empirical evidence that directly links LTP to the storage of memories. In this target article we review a range of cellular and behavioral characteristics of LTP and evaluate whether they are consistent with the purported role of hippocampal LTP in memory formation. We suggest that much of the present focus on LTP reflects a preconception that LTP is a learning mechanism, although the empirical evidence often suggests that LTP is unsuitable for such a role. As an alternative to serving as a memory storage device, we propose that LTP may serve as a neural equivalent to an arousal or attention device in the brain. Accordingly, LTP may increase in a nonspecific way the effective salience of discrete external stimuli and may thereby facilitate the induction of memories at distant synapses. Other hypotheses regarding the functional utility of this intensely studied mechanism are conceivable; the intent of this target article is not to promote a single hypothesis but rather to stimulate discussion about the neural mechanisms underlying memory storage and to appraise whether LTP can be considered a viable candidate for such a mechanism.
|Keywords||arousal attention calcium classical conditioning Hebbian synapses hippocampus memory systems NMDA spatial learning synaptic plasticity theta rhythm|
|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
John Bickle (2006). Reducing Mind to Molecular Pathways: Explicating the Reductionism Implicit in Current Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience. [REVIEW] Synthese 151 (3):411-434.
Maurice K. D. Schouten & Huib Looren De Jong (1999). Reduction, Elimination, and Levels: The Case of the LTP-Learning Link. Philosophical Psychology 12 (3):237 – 262.
Huib L. de Jong & Maurice K. D. Schouten (2005). Ruthless Reductionism: A Review Essay of John Bickle's Philosophy and Neuroscience: A Ruthlessly Reductive Account. [REVIEW] Philosophical Psychology 18 (4):473-486.
Huib Looren de Jong & Maurice K. D. Schouten (2005). Ruthless Reductionism: A Review Essay of John Bickle's Philosophy and Neuroscience: A Ruthlessly Reductive Account. Philosophical Psychology 18 (4):473-486.
Huib L. de Jong (2006). Explicating Pluralism: Where the Mind to Molecule Pathway Gets Off the Track - Reply to Bickle. Synthese 151 (3):435-443.
Similar books and articles
W. Robert Batsell Jr & Aaron G. Blankenship (2002). Beyond Potentiation: Synergistic Conditioning in Flavor-Aversion Learning. [REVIEW] Brain and Mind 3 (3):383-408.
John Bickle (2002). Concepts Structured Through Reduction: A Structuralist Resource Illuminates the Consolidation – Long-Term Potentiation (Ltp) Link. Synthese 130 (1):123 - 133.
Linda Palmer, Evidence That Long-Term Potentiation Occurs Within Individual Hippocampal Synapses During Learning.
Robert Gerlai (1997). A Causal Relationship Between LTP and Learning? Has the Question Been Answered by Genetic Approaches? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):617-618.
Peter M. Milner (1997). Repetition Priming: Memory or Attention? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):623-623.
Nestor A. Schmajuk (1997). Stimulus Configuration, Long-Term Potentiation, and the Hippocampus. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):629-631.
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.
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.
Stephen Maren (1997). Arousing the LTP and Learning Debate. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):622-623.
Shane M. O'Mara, Sean Commins, Colin Gemmell & John Gigg (1997). Long-Term Potentiation: Does It Deserve Attention? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):625-626.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads17 ( #156,749 of 1,724,771 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #134,580 of 1,724,771 )
How can I increase my downloads?