long-term potentiationmedical dictionary

<physiology> Increase in the strength of transmission at a synapse with repetitive use that lasts for more than a few minutes.

As a form of long term synaptic plasticity it is important as a possible cellular mechanism for the basis of learning and memory storage. It has been studied most extensively at excitatory synapses onto principal neurones of the hippocampus where it was first demonstrated. Selective inhibition of NMDA receptor channels has been shown to block long-term potentiation and to block spatial learning.

(12 Dec 1998)