We describe a form of experience-dependent response enhancement in the visual cortex of awake mice. Repeated presentations of grating stimuli of a single orientation result in a persistent enhancement of responses evoked by the test stimulus. Response potentiation is specific to the orientation of the test stimulus, develops gradually over the course of several training sessions, and occurs in both juvenile and adult mice. The stimulus-selective response potentiation (SRP) can mask deprivation-induced response depression in adult mice. SRP requires NMDA receptor activation and is prevented by viral delivery of a peptide that interferes with AMPA receptor trafficking. SRP may reveal the mechanisms involved in certain forms of perceptual learning.
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