Cellular mechanisms for altered learning in aging

M. Matthew Oh, John F. Disterhoft

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Getting gray hair is part of the natural progression of aging. People expect it and they can change their hair color, if they choose. People also expect increases in memory lapses and learning difficulties as they get older. However, unlike hair color, there is no magic cure or option to fix learning and memory difficulties, because the cellular mechanisms of learning and aging in all the different types of neurons throughout the brain have yet to be discovered. This review describes our efforts to identify a cellular biomarker in hippocampal pyramidal neurons that has been demonstrated to reliably change with learning and with aging - the postburst afterhyperpolarization. We propose that this biomarker, which plays a critical role in regulating neuronal excitability, can be used as a benchmark for future studies in order to understand and identify the cellular mechanisms of learning and aging in the hippocampus, as well as in other cortical regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalFuture Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


  • Calcium channels
  • Eyeblink conditioning
  • Henry Gustav Molaison
  • Hippocampus
  • Postburst afterhyperpolarization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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