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TODAY Adrian Seminar: "Synaptic plasticity and memory"

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Lyn Dakin.

There is now overwhelming evidence that memories are stored in the mammalian brain by the agency of synaptic plasticity – the process by which activity in cortical circuits leads to long-term changes in synaptic efficacy. I will trace the origins of these ideas from the work of Ramon y Cajal in the late 19th century, through Hebb’s trenchant encapsulation of the widely held hypothesis that synaptic activity itself must engender changes is synaptic function, to the first identification of ‘Hebbian’ synapses in the hippocampus in the 1970s. Since then an enormous amount has been learned about the cellular mechanisms underlying long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) at hippocampal synapses. In my talk I will briefly summarize these advances and go on to discuss recent work which has sought to establish how the physiological phenomena of LTP and LTD relate to memory and learning in the behaving animal.

This talk is part of the Adrian Seminars in Neuroscience series.

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