Long-term potentiation hypothesis gets boost

LTP underlies hippocampal learning and memory, according to two new studies

Melissa Lee Phillips
Aug 23, 2006
Long-term potentiation (LTP) underlies memory formation in the hippocampus, according to two new studies, adding support to a contentious hypothesis. The research, appearing in this week's Science, reports that learning induces LTP, and blocking LTP can erase memories already stored in the hippocampus.That LTP underlies hippocampal learning is "an assumption that we've had for 30 years," said Mark Bear of The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., senior author of one of the new papers. "It's almost to the point of embarrassing that it hadn't been demonstrated."Both studies may help researchers stop arguing about whether or not LTP is the mechanism of learning, said Michel Baudry of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, who was not involved in the research. "I think now, it is. I'm glad to see we are coming to this closure."It's well-established that LTP -- a long-lasting...

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