Importance of stimulation paradigm in determining facilitation and effects of neuromodulation

Misty E. Crider, Robin L. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Evoked synaptic activity within the CNS and at the neuromuscular junction in most in vivo preparations studied occurs not with single isolated stimuli, but with trains, or bursts, of stimuli. Although for ease in studying the mechanisms of vesicular synaptic transmission one often uses single discrete stimuli, the true mechanisms in the animal may be far more complex. When repetitive stimuli are present at a nerve terminal, often a heightened (i.e., facilitated) postsynaptic potential can be as a result. Facilitation is commonly used as an index of synaptic function and plasticity induced by chronic stimulation or by neuromodulation. The mechanisms that give rise to facilitation are thought to be the same that may underlie short- term learning and memory [C.H. Bailey, E.R. Kandel, Structural changes accompanying memory storage. Annu. Rev. Physiol. 55 (1993) 397-426.]. Differences in short term facilitation (STF) are seen depending on the conventional stimulation paradigm (twin pulse, train, or continuous) used to induce facilitation. Thus, a battery of paradigms should be used to characterize synaptic function to obtain a closer understanding of the possible in vivo conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-331
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 25 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was accomplished for the MS requirements for Ms. Misty E. Crider (1998). Funding was provided by University of Kentucky Research and Graduate Studies (R.L.C.), NSF grants IBN-9808631 and ILI DUE-9850907 (R.L.C.). We thank Mr. Bruce Griffis (Univ. of KY) for editorial assistance.


  • Crayfish
  • Facilitation
  • Neuromuscular junction
  • Synapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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