Long-term enhancement of synaptic responses in the songbird hippocampus

Andrzej Wieraszko, Gregory F. Ball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Electrophysiological recordings from the hippocampus were taken using brain slices from 1-year-old, female, song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). The evoked responses were smaller and less stable as compared with those obtained from the mammalian hippocampus. They consisted of two spikes. The first spike had low calcium dependency and represented mainly fiber potential. The second spike demonstrated a clear calcium dependency proving its synaptic origin. Paired-pulse facilitation showed inhibition of the second response at latencies below 20 ms, facilitation at 30 ms and no changes above 30 ms. Train stimulation with 20 Hz (each train consisted of 1 s stimulation with 10-s intervals repeated 3 times) evoked a stable increase in the size of the evoked response lasting approximately 2 h. These data indicate that the avian hippocampus possesses several neurophysiological properties that typify the mammalian hippocampus including the long-term enhancement of the synaptic response following certain patterns of stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-106
Number of pages5
JournalBrain research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 1991


  • Bird
  • Brain slice
  • Evoked potential
  • Hippocampus
  • Long-term synaptic plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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