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All together now: long term potentiation in the human cortex
INTRODUCTION. Long term potentiation (LTP) is defined as a long-lasting enhancement in communication between two neurons after the delivery of high frequency trains of electrical stimulation. This adjustment in synaptic efficacy is the physiological process that sustains learning and memory. However, few studies have addressed the existence of a similar phenomenon in the human cortex, even though it has been investigated for more than 30 years using animal models. DEVELOPMENT. The present review illustrates the state of the LTP-like phenomenon recently described in humans, and the possibility of ascribing the known mechanisms of LTP to the human cortex.
CONCLUSIONS. A detailed knowledge of synaptic plasticity in the human cortex will facilitate a smooth translation of a wealth of physiological and molecular information and will have a major impact in the development and design of pharmacological agents intended as cognitive enhancers. We argue for the need of more focused experimental research on this particularly important area of neuroplasticity.
Auditory cortexLong-term potentiationMemoryNeuroplasticityVisual cortex