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The SynapseFunction, Plasticity, and Neurotrophism$
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Motoy Kuno

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198546870

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198546870.001.0001

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Functional plasticity at synapses

Functional plasticity at synapses

Chapter:
(p.89) 7 Functional plasticity at synapses
Source:
The Synapse
Author(s):

Motoy Kuno

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198546870.003.0091

Functional synaptic plasticity is a relatively longlasting alteration in the efficiency of synaptic transmission. In biophysical terms, the efficiency of synaptic transmission is determined by two parameters: how much transmitter is released from presynaptic terminals, and what size of postsynaptic response is produced per unit amount of transmitter. Consequently, plastic changes at synapses must be associated with changes in either one or both parameters. The principal questions concern how these changes are induced (acquisition or learning) and maintained (retention or memory). Depending on how long these changes persist, plasticity can be divided into short-term (minutes to hours) and long-term (days to years) alterations. This chapter first focuses on relatively straightforward forms of plastic changes and sees what substrates are involved. For this purpose, the chapter begins with short-term plasticity at the level of peripheral synapses.

Keywords:   synaptic plasticity, synaptic transmission, presynaptic terminals, postsynaptic response, peripheral synapses, short-term alteration

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