Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Quartz & Sejnowski: Cognitive development

NMDA receptors: Substrates or modulators of memory formation

David L. Walker a1 and Paul E. Gold a2
a1 Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06508
a2 Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22901


We agree with Shors & Matzel's general hypothesis that the proposed link between NMDA-dependent LTP and memory is weak. They suggest that NMDA-dependent LTP is important to arousal or attentional processes which influence learning in an anterograde manner. However, current evidence is also consistent with the view that NMDA receptors modulate memory consolidation retroactively, as occurs in several other receptor classes.