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The role of the GluR-A (GluR1) AMPA receptor subunit in learning and memory

Sanderson, David John, Good, Mark Andrew, Seeburg, P. H., Sprengel, R., Rawlins, J. N. P. and Bannerman, D. M. 2008. The role of the GluR-A (GluR1) AMPA receptor subunit in learning and memory. In: Sossin, Wayne S., Lacaille, Jean-Claude, Castellucci, Vincent F. and Belleville, Sylvie eds. Essence of memory, Progress in brain research, vol. 169. Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 159-178. (10.1016/S0079-6123(07)00009-X)

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It is widely believed that synaptic plasticity may provide the neural mechanism that underlies certain kinds of learning and memory in the mammalian brain. The expression of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus, an experimental model of synaptic plasticity, requires the GluR-A subunit of the AMPA subtype of glutamate receptor. Genetically modified mice lacking the GluR-A subunit show normal acquisition of the standard, fixed-location, hidden-platform watermaze task, a spatial reference memory task that requires the hippocampus. In contrast, these mice are dramatically impaired on hippocampus-dependent, spatial working memory tasks, in which the spatial response of the animal is dependent on information in short-term memory. Taken together, these results argue for two distinct and independent spatial information processing mechanisms: (i) a GluR-A-independent associative learning mechanism through which a particular spatial response is gradually or incrementally strengthened, and which presumably underlies the acquisition of the classic watermaze paradigm and (ii) a GluR-A-dependent, non-associative, short-term memory trace which determines performance on spatial working memory tasks. These results are discussed in terms of Wagner's SOP model (1981).

Item Type: Book Section
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: glutamate receptors; long-term potentiation; hippocampus; spatial memory; associative learning; working memory
Additional Information: Chapter 9
Publisher: Elsevier
ISBN: 9780444531643
ISSN: 00796123
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Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 14:23

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