The Salk Institute for Biological Studies and
University of California San Diego

Many synapses between pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex are strengthened when a presynaptic terminal is stimulated at the same time that the postsynaptic neuron is depolarized. This form of long-term potentiation (LTP) is mediated by activation of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, a subtype of voltage-sensitive glutamate receptor. A new study in the cerebral cortex has revealed that NMDA receptors also mediate another type of LTP that requires only postsynaptic activation.

A. Alonso, M. de Curtis, R. Llin s, "Postsynaptic Hebbian and non-Hebbian long-term potentiation of synaptic efficacy in the entorhinal cortex in slices and in the isolated adult guinea pig brain," PNAS, 87 (23), 9280-4, December 1990. (New York University Medical Center)

Single neurons in the visual cortex of primates respond selectively to visual stimuli. In the middle temporal visual area (MT) of the cerebral cortex,...

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