Long-Term Potentiation

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LONG-TERM POTENTIATION

[Long-term potentiation (LTP) is defined as a persistent enhancement in the strength of a synaptic connection produced as a result of delivering a brief high frequency burst of neural activity (i.e., tetanus) to a presynaptic neuron or pathway. The enhanced synaptic efficacy can persist for hours, days, or even weeks, depending on the stimulus protocol. LTP is believed to be a prime candidate for a synaptic memory mechanism because of its persistence and the fact that it is found in brain regions that have been implicated in memory (e.g., the amygdala, hippocampus, cerebral cortex, and cerebellum). Five entries are devoted to this important mechanism. They include anO verview, discussions of the different forms and mechanisms of LTP in different brain regions, andB ehavioralR olesof LTP. The reader should also see the entry on the related phenomenon of LONG-TERM DEPRESSION.]

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