Evoked synaptic activity within the CNS and at the neuromuscular junction in most in vivo preparations studied occurs not with single isolated stimuli, but with trains, or bursts, of stimuli. Although for ease in studying the mechanisms of vesicular synaptic transmission one often uses single discrete stimuli, the true mechanisms in the animal may be far more complex. When repetitive stimuli are present at a nerve terminal, often a heightened (i.e., facilitated) postsynaptic potential can be as a result. Facilitation is commonly used as an index of synaptic function and plasticity induced by chronic stimulation or by neuromodulation. The mechanisms that give rise to facilitation are thought to be the same that may underlie short-term learning and memory [C.H. Bailey, E.R. Kandel, Structural changes accompanying memory storage. Annu. Rev. Physiol. 55 (1993) 397-426.]. Differences in short term facilitation (STF) are seen depending on the conventional stimulation paradigm (twin pulse, train, or continuous) used to induce facilitation. Thus, a battery of paradigms should be used to characterize synaptic function to obtain a closer understanding of the possible in vivo conditions.