• Bernard W. Agranoff


For present purposes, learning is defined as the tendency of an organism to increase its probability of responding to a stimulus in a prescribed fashion, whereas memory of the learned task refers to performance of the response when the stimulus is presented at some later time. Entire fields of endeavor within the discipline of psychology deal with the nature and magnitude of stimuli, the responses evoked, and their temporal interdependence. The nature of the inferred physicochemical alterations in the brain that underlie behavioral change or of their electrophysiological or structural concomitants remains largely unknown, but not for a want of interest or effort. Our lack of understanding is all the more striking in view of the significant strides made during the past 30 years in the elucidation of the molecular bases of biological processes, and especially over the past decade in the neurosciences. Progress in learning and memory research prior to 1972 was summarized in the first edition of the Handbook.1 The present chapter emphasizes developments in the interim. The references include a number of reviews and monographs that may be of additional value to the reader2–9 (see Y. Tsukada, Chapter 16, this volume).


Hippocampal Slice Positron Emission Tomographic Macromolecular Synthesis Quinuclidinyl Benzilate Anterior Forebrain 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard W. Agranoff
    • 1
  1. 1.Neuroscience Laboratory Building and Mental Health Research InstituteUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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