Previously we have demonstrated that rapidly presented sensory stimulation (visual or auditory) can induce long-lasting increases in sensory evoked potentials recorded from the human cortex. Long-term potentiation was suggested as the underlying mechanism of these increases. In the present experiment, we applied the same visual paradigm to anesthetized rats to investigate the properties and mechanisms of this effect. Our results indicated that visual evoked responses were significantly enhanced for at least 1 h and, when followed, up to 5 h after the presentation of a 'photic tetanus.' Furthermore, the potentiation was N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-dependent and cortically generated. This type of sensory long-term potentiation may underlie perceptual learning, and serves as a model system for investigating sensory-evoked plasticity.