Tomonori Takeuchi

Silent Learning

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Janine I. Rossato, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Andrea Moreno
  • Lisa Genzel, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Miwako Yamasaki, Hokkaido University, Japan
  • Tomonori Takeuchi
  • Santiago Canals
  • ,
  • Richard G.M. Morris

We introduce the concept of “silent learning”—the capacity to learn despite neuronal cell-firing being largely absent. This idea emerged from thinking about dendritic computation [1, 2] and examining whether the encoding, expression, and retrieval of hippocampal-dependent memory could be dissociated using the intrahippocampal infusion of pharmacological compounds. We observed that very modest enhancement of GABAergic inhibition with low-dose muscimol blocked both cell-firing and the retrieval of an already-formed memory but left induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) and new spatial memory encoding intact (silent learning). In contrast, blockade of hippocampal NMDA receptors by intrahippocampal D-AP5 impaired both the induction of LTP and encoding but had no effect on memory retrieval. Blockade of AMPA receptors by CNQX impaired excitatory synaptic transmission and cell-firing and both memory encoding and retrieval. Thus, in keeping with the synaptic plasticity and memory hypothesis [3], the hippocampal network can mediate new memory encoding when LTP induction is intact even under conditions in which somatic cell-firing is blocked. It is widely believed that induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) and associated cell-firing is required for new memory formation. Rossato et al. show that memory formation can still occur provided LTP induction is intact even though cell-firing has been prevented using modest GABAergic activation. We refer to this as “silent learning.”

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume28
Issue21
Pages (from-to)3508-3515
Number of pages8
ISSN0960-9822
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.09.012

    Research areas

  • AMPA receptors, GABA receptors, NMDA receptors, learning, long-term potentiation, memory encoding, memory retrieval, synaptic plasticity, watermaze, NMDA RECEPTORS, ON-DEMAND PLATFORM, ASPARTATE RECEPTOR ANTAGONIST, SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY, WATER-MAZE PROCEDURE, DORSAL HIPPOCAMPUS, SELECTIVE IMPAIRMENT, PLACE FIELDS, SPATIAL MEMORY, LONG-TERM POTENTIATION

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