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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 – Synaptic Plasticity.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Human Biology

Lecture 3Synaptic Plasticity Debate 1 question Is major adult brain plasticity eg Sensory substitution caused by unmasking existing inhibited connection or rewiring new connectionsPerchemgi neuronfound in back of cerebellumBrain changes at the synapseOur minds are somewhat prewired but mostly glued together by lifeDuring critical periods of time the glue is very softExperience shapes a lot in our life where we see the differences between peoples brains Synaptic TransmissionChemical synapse is most commonBegins when it reaches presynaptic axonTransmitters are released on the post synaptic neuronCalcium channels open and some bind to tagman SNARES bring vesicles close to axon endTransmitters bind to other receptors and this binding depends whether there would be an inhibitory or excitatory responseThere are several steps into the processPower of the brain is that it has a diversified population of proteins etcSynaptic Plasticity Eric Kandel Nobel Prize Winnerstudied learning and synaptic changes in Aplysia californicasimple system 1000 neurons in ganglion neurons can be recognized and recorded from and trace their connectionsgiant snail sea slug only have about 20 000 neurons and some you can see with the naked eyeAplysia Gill Withdrawal Reflex GWRtouch the siphon important for breathing gill is withdrawn into shell for protection GWRrepeatedly touch the siphon GWR reduced and eventually ceasesHabituationlearning response to the environment and habituation goes across the animal kingdom dishabituation feeling the chair on your bottomtouching animal somewhere else it starts withdrawing again why Spends energy in a different way stimulus is no longer threatening repressors in post synaptic stopping transmitters from being releasedthe theory that is able to be tested is the better one Short term habituation of the GWRrepeated stimulation over 1 hour less and less withdrawalnext day habituation mostly gone
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