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Trends Cogn Sci. 1998 Aug 1;2(8):271-3.

Tuning the brain by learning and by stimulation of the nucleus basalis.

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Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Bonney Center, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-3800, USA.


Although it is well-established that the cerebral cortex is a substrate for learning, memory and higher cognitive functions, rather less is known about the mechanisms by which experiences are acquired and stored in the cortex. The role of the basal forebrain cholinergic system (BFCS) in learning-induced plasticity is underlined by a recent report by Kilgard and Merzenich[1]. In this article I will discuss the findings of Kilgard and Merzenich in the context of other developments in our understanding of the BFCS and its role in learning-induced plasticity. However, before the discussion I would like to provide some essential background information.


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