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Stephens_Lecture9-Spr2010 - formation of more vesicles of...

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1 The cellular mechanisms of learning What is the neural basis of learning? Answer: Plasticity in synapses and the connections between neurons. Hebbian plasticity (Donald Hebb) The efficiency of a synapse increases when both the pre- and post synaptic cells are active Key conceptual principle in the search for a learning mechanism Hebbian Plasticity Neuron 1 Neuron 2 A C TIV E A C TIV E Stronger Connection From Air Puff From Bike horn receptors To “blink” muscle What could happen to strengthen a synaptic connection?
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2 What really happens Gill wi t hdrawal c ondi ioning in a s e a lug A plastic synapse: What’s up in the plastic synapse? 1. Action Potentials from the “Bike Horn” open calcium gates 2. Serotonin from “air puff” complexes with membrane bound enzyme 3. Calcium ions complex with the existing serotonin enzyme complex to catalyze ATP cAMP cAMP acts a second messenger in the
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Unformatted text preview: formation of more vesicles of neurotransmitter Longer-term mechanisms • Second messenger can effect gene expression in the nucleus, causing a more permanent up-regulation of neurotransmitter production • The number of synapses between two cells can increase or decrease as a longer term result of conditioning • Kandel received the Nobel prize for this work recently 3 Summary: cellular mechanism of learning • Learning/conditioning occurs via synaptic plasticity (The Hebbian model) – The enzyme Adenyl cyclase requires Ca 2+ from previous action potentials and serotonin from another neuron to make cAMP, which creates more vesicles of neurotransmitter • Long-term plasticity involves changes in gene expression: modifying the cAMP pathway and growing more synapses...
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