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Engineering a memory with LTD and LTP


Nabavi, S and Fox, R and Prolux, CD and Lin, J and Tsien, RY and Malinow, R, Engineering a memory with LTD and LTP, Nature, 511, (7509) pp. 348-352. ISSN 0028-0836 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved

DOI: doi:10.1038/nature13294


It has been proposed that memories are encoded by modification of synaptic strengths through cellular mechanisms such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). However, the causal link between these synaptic processes and memory has been difficult to demonstrate. Here we show that fear conditioning, a type of associative memory, can be inactivated and reactivated by LTD and LTP, respectively. We began by conditioning an animal to associate a foot shock with optogenetic stimulation of auditory inputs targeting the amygdala, a brain region known to be essential for fear conditioning. Subsequent optogenetic delivery of LTD conditioning to the auditory input inactivates memory of the shock. Then subsequent optogenetic delivery of LTP conditioning to the auditory input reactivates memory of the shock. Thus, we have engineered inactivation and reactivation of a memory using LTD and LTP, supporting a causal link between these synaptic processes and memory.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Optogenetics, neuroscience
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Central nervous system
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Lin, J (Dr John Lin)
ID Code:97385
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:577
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2014-12-15
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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