Mediation of Classical Conditioning in Aplysia californica by Long-Term Potentiation of Sensorimotor Synapses

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Science  17 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5337, pp. 467-471
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5337.467

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Long-term potentiation (LTP) is considered an important neuronal mechanism of learning and memory. Currently, however, there is no direct experimental link between LTP of an identified synapse and learning. A cellular analog of classical conditioning inAplysia was used to determine whether this form of invertebrate learning involvesN-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)–type LTP. The NMDA receptor-antagonist dl-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate significantly disrupted synaptic enhancement after associative training but did not disrupt synaptic enhancement after nonassociative training. Thus, classical conditioning in Aplysia appears to be mediated, in part, by LTP due to activation of NMDA-related receptors.

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