Relationship Between Ltp And Learning

The first evidence to associate LTP with learning was derived from studies that used drugs to block the activity of the NMDA receptor. The rationale behind these studies was that the blockade of the NMDA receptor would prevent changes in synaptic function. In the most comprehensive studies, the drugs were administered directly into the ventricles. This procedure allows the drugs to diffuse to the hippocampus in addition to other brain areas. The behavioral task investigated was the Morris water maze task, which is a spatial learning task. Blocking the NMDA receptor indeed affected spatial learning and also blocked LTP. Presumably, the blockade of changes in synaptic function prevented learning. As expected, LTP is also found in the amygdala, and NMDA receptor blockade in the amygdala prevents both nondeclarative learning and LTP.

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