Walden University Week 7 Biological Basis of Memory LTP Essay

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Walden University


Biological Basis of Memory

For years, researchers have tried to identify the biological basis of memory. This basis might take many forms, such as the model we will discuss this week, but the physical trace of the memory has become known as the engram. While it is likely that there are multiple ways in which memory is stored, the current model for the formation of new memories is Long-Term Potentiation. This model was described by Donald Hebb, who summarized it in 1949 by saying “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” This model suggests that when neurons are typically activated at the same time, the connection between those cells is strengthened. In the terms we have described earlier in our class, the postsynaptic cell becomes more responsive to the neurotransmitters released by the presynaptic cell. Nearly 20 years after Hebb’s quote, the process of LTP was actually observed in the hippocampus. Today, this model is the basis for our understanding of how new memories are formed. A more recent, and less well-understood process is long-term depression, in which the connections between two cells are actively weakened.

For this Discussion, you will explore this LTP model including the neurotransmitters and receptors involved. You will consider what activates each receptor and what changes within the receptor when it is activated.

Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the Post to Discussion Question link, and then select Create Thread to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts—and cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit.

To prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources about Long-Term Potentiation.
  • Use the Walden Library to locate at least two empirical articles that help to explain how LTP is beneficial to daily life.

Post a response to the following:

  • Explain Long-Term Potentiation in your own words.
  • Include a description of the receptor involved in LTP and what happens when it is stimulated by its ligand.
  • Explain the changes that happen in both the presynaptic and postsynaptic cell as part of the LTP process.
  • Briefly summarize the articles you found in the library that support how LTP is beneficial in your daily life. Include full APA references for your articles.

Support your posting with specific references from literature in the Walden Library and Learning Resources.

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Breedlove, S. M., & Watson, N. V. (2019). Behavioral neuroscience (9th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Chapter 17, “Learning and Memory”

Carey, B. (2008, December 5). H. M., whose loss of memory made him unforgettable, dies. The New York Times.

Hannula, D. E., & Helmstetter, F. J. (2016). Hippocampal interactions with brain networks that influence learning & memory. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 134 Pt A, 1–4. doi:10.1016/j.nlm.2016.08.018

Milner, B. (n.d.). Reflections on the field of brain and memory: A tribute to HM. NARSAD Research Quarterly, 24–25. doi:10.1037/e546432011-008
Watson, D. J., Ostroff, L., Cao, G., Parker, P. H., Smith, H., & Harris, K. M. (2016). LTP enhances synaptogenesis in the developing hippocampus. Hippocampus, 26(5), 560–576. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/h...
LTP enhances synaptogenesis in the developing hippocampus by Watson, D.J., Ostroff, L., Cao, G., Parker, P.H., Smith, H., & Harris, K.M, in Hippocampus, Vol. 26/Issue 5. Copyright 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reprinted by permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Required Media

Doolittle, P. (2013, June). Peter Doolittle: How your “working memory” makes sense of the world [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/peter_doolittle_how_your...
Note: The length of this media is approximately 9 minutes.
Fogel, B. (Producer). (2015, July 10). Forget-me-not: How prions maintain memory [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/forget-me-n...
Note: The length of this media is approximately 12 minutes.
Kean, S. (2014, August). Sam Kean: What happens when you remove the hippocampus? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/sam_kean_what_happens_wh...
Note: The length of this media is approximately 5 minutes.
Loftus, E. (2013, June). Elizabeth Loftus: How reliable is your memory? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_loftus_the_fic...
Note: The length of this media is approximately 18 minutes.
Yue, C. (n.d.). Long term potentiation and synaptic plasticity. Retrieved May 2, 2019, from https://www.khanacademy.org/science/health-and-med...
Note: The length of this media is approximately 3 minutes.
Sinauer Associates, Inc. (Producer). (n.d.). AMPA and NMDA receptors. Available from https://oup-arc.com/access/breedlove9e-student-res...
  • Animation 17.2 with your textbook
Note: The length of this media is approximately 3 minutes.

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Explanation & Answer

View attached explanation and answer. Let me know if you have any questions.hey there, am done. check it out and let me know if you need any revisions


Long-Term Synaptic Potentiation (LTP)
Long-Term Synaptic Potentiation is an experimental process that is to what happens
occurs in the brain area referred to as the mammalian hippocampus (Carey, 2008). Due to
frequent activation the process induces synaptic connections between neurons. As a result,
the brain is able to experience different changes that enable it to memorize through it learning
mechanism. With intense stimulation and strengthening of synapses, neurons are able to
communicate via synaptic connections between receptors. As this process is completed,
memory is formed as a result.
During synaptic strengthening, N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors become
stimulated by ligands in the presynaptic cells during the binding process of glutamate
(Hannula & Helmstetter, 2016). As a result, due to quick successions of multiple presynaptic

inputs, depolarization of postsynaptic neuron occurs which causing the magnesium ions to
transmit calcium ions into the postsynaptic cells through the NMDA receptors (Breedlove &
Watson, 2019). AMPA, a type of glutamate receptor, penetrates the postsynaptic membrane
leading to glutamate binding in the postsynaptic cells resulting in synapse strengthening. This
whole process leads to memory formation and is referred to as Long-Term Synaptic
Potentiation (LTP).


Breedlove, S. M., & Watson, N. V. (2019). Behavioral neuroscience (9th ed.). New York,
NY: Oxford University Press. Chapter 17, “Learning and Memory”
Hannula, ...

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