Long-lasting potentiation of synaptic potentials in the motor cortex produced by stimulation of the sensory cortex in the cat: a basis of motor learning

Brain Res. 1987 Jun 16;413(2):360-4. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(87)91029-8.


A long-lasting increase in the efficiency of synaptic transmission in the central nervous system has been thought to be one of the bases of learning and memory. To explore the possibility that the motor cortex (area 4 gamma) itself is involved in motor learning, the existence of long-term potentiation (LTP) was examined by recording excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) from motor cortical neurons. Short tetanic intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) of the somatic sensory cortex produced a marked potentiation of the EPSPs in a small group of motor cortical neurons. The results raised the possibility that the input from the sensory cortex participates in motor learning and retention of the learned motor skills.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Thalamus / physiology