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Memory : mechanisms other than LTP

Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, 2009
Memory : mechanisms other than LTP
Debanne D and Campanac E

Synaptic plasticity is not the exclusive mode of memory storage, and persistent regulation of voltage-gated ionic channels also participates in information storage. Long-term changes in neuronal excitability have been reported in several brain areas following learning. Synaptic activation of glutamate receptors initiates long-lasting modification in neuronal excitability at the pre- or postsynaptic side. Intrinsic plasticity is mediated by changes in the expression level or biophysical properties of ion channels in the membrane and can affect many different neuronal operations such as dendritic integration and action potential generation and propagation. Similarly to synaptic plasticity, long-lasting intrinsic plasticity is bidirectional and expresses a certain level of input or cell specificity. Synaptic and intrinsic plasticities not only share common learning rules and induction pathways but also contribute in synergy with these synaptic changes to the formation of a coherent mnesic engram.

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