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Nature. 2014 Jul 17;511(7509):348-52. doi: 10.1038/nature13294. Epub 2014 Jun 1.

Engineering a memory with LTD and LTP.

Author information

1
1] Center for Neural Circuits and Behavior, Department of Neuroscience and Section of Neurobiology, University of California at San Diego, California 92093, USA [2].
2
Center for Neural Circuits and Behavior, Department of Neuroscience and Section of Neurobiology, University of California at San Diego, California 92093, USA.
3
Department of Pharmacology, University of California at San Diego, California 92093, USA.
4
1] Department of Pharmacology, University of California at San Diego, California 92093, USA [2] Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California at San Diego, California 92093, USA.

Abstract

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.

PMID:
24896183
PMCID:
PMC4210354
DOI:
10.1038/nature13294
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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