Comparison of long-term enhancement and short-term exploratory modulation of perforant path synaptic transmission

C. A. Erickson, B. L. McNaughton, C. A. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Long-term enhancement (LTE/LTP) is an artificially induced form of synaptic change that may underlie memory storage in the hippocampus; however, there is as yet no evidence that this process occurs naturally as a result of normal neural activity. In the dentate gyrus, synaptic change does occur in conjunction with an animal's recent history of exploratory behavior. This change, which persists for a short time (ca. 30 min) following cessation of exploration, has been called short-term exploratory modulation (STEM). This experiment examined the relationship between LTE and STEM by comparing the magnitude of STEM before and after induction of LTE in rats with chronically implanted stimulating electrodes in the perforant path and recording electrodes in the fascia dentata. The absolute magnitude of STEM was the same before and after LTE saturation, suggesting that the processes are independently of each other. Furthermore, quantitative and qualitative analyses of the types of changes seen in the evoked-potential waveforms reveal different types of alteration. LTE includes an increase in EPSP slope, whereas STEM reflects an increase in EPSP onset. These data suggest that it is unlikely that STEM and LTE reflect the same synaptic process, and are at least partly consistent with recent reports suggesting that STEM may be mediated by activity-dependent changes in brain temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-280
Number of pages6
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2 1993


  • Dentate gyrus
  • Evoked potential
  • Exploration
  • Hippocampus
  • Long-term potentiation
  • Spatial learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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