Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Quartz & Sejnowski: Cognitive development

LTP and learning: Let's stay together

Robert D. Hawkins a1
a1 Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY 10032


The hypothesis that there is a 1:1 correspondence between LTP and learning is simplistic, and the correlation approach to testing it is therefore too limited. The alternative hypothesis that LTP plays a role in arousal is consistent with activity-dependent neuromodulation, but ignores the Hebbian properties of LTP. LTP may involve both types of mechanisms, suggesting a possible synthesis of the two hypotheses.