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Neuron. 2003 Aug 28;39(5):843-53.

Place representation within hippocampal networks is modified by long-term potentiation.

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Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ 07102, USA.


In the brain, information is encoded by the firing patterns of neuronal ensembles and the strength of synaptic connections between individual neurons. We report here that representation of the environment by "place" cells is altered by changing synaptic weights within hippocampal networks. Long-term potentiation (LTP) of intrinsic hippocampal pathways abolished existing place fields, created new place fields, and rearranged the temporal relationship within the affected population. The effect of LTP on neuron discharge was rate and context dependent. The LTP-induced "remapping" occurred without affecting the global firing rate of the network. The findings support the view that learned place representation can be accomplished by LTP-like synaptic plasticity within intrahippocampal networks.

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