Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Continuing Commentary
Tracey J. Shors & Louis D. Matzel (1997) Long-term potentiation: What's learning got to do with it? BBS 20:597–655

LTP – A mechanism in search of a function

Kathryn J. Jeffery a1
a1 Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom


Shors & Matzel (1997) suggest replacing the question “Is LTP a mechanism of learning?” with “Is LTP a mechanism of arousal and attention?” However, the failure of experiments to verify the LTP-learning hypothesis may arise not because it is untrue, but because in its current guise, it is not properly testable. If so, then the LTP-attention hypothesis is untestable, as well.