Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Higher Neural Functions

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A. I. Selverston, P. Ascher
Wiley, Jun 30, 1994 - Medical - 344 pages
Despite the remarkable advances made in molecular neurobiology over the last ten years, very little progress has been made towards understanding how the brain performs higher functions: cognition, behavior, learning, and memory. One of the greatest challenges facing modern neurobiology, therefore, is the integration of data that comes from disparate levels of analysis. This volume presents the results of the Dahlem conference convened to address these issues. The purpose of the conference was to bring together brain researchers, who approach their work at different conceptual levels, to consider how their results might be synthesized into a more integrated view of how the brain works. To try and accomplish this, two specific examples were chosen: the modulation of neural circuits and the phenomena of long-term potentiation (LTP). Neuromodulation has been studied from the molecular to the behavioral level with dramatic breakthroughs at the circuit level over the last five years. Due to the possibility that it may be the cellular mechanism for certain types of learning and memory, LTP has also been studied at different levels. To assist in understanding LTP and neuromodulation at the molecular, cellular, circuit, and behavioral levels, the background papers written for the meeting are included in this volume. The conference itself was devoted to discussing LTP and neuromodulation from the perspective of each of the different levels, and the results of these discussions are presented in the group reports. Particular emphasis was given to a consideration of how the rapid progress in molecular and cellular neurobiology can be integrated into systems and behavioral neurobiology. Specific suggestions for future research in both areas were discussed thoroughly. This volume presents what is most probably the most authoritative, up-to-date assessment of LTP and neuromodulation currently available. Goal of this Dahlem Workshop: to apply new cellular and molecular concepts to the understanding of plasticity in synapses, cells, local circuits, and defined systems in the mature brain.

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About the author (1994)

Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of California, San Diego and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology.

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