Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis campus only



First Advisor

Kimberley A. Phillips


There are several theories regarding how learning is related to changes in gray matter of the brain. The most prominent hypothesis is known as long-term potentiation (LTP). LTP is an important mechanism for learning-induced cortical plasticity in which synaptic strength is modified along cortical horizontal connections (Andersen, Andersson, & Lømo, 1966; Andersen, Blackstad, & Lømo, 1966; Lømo, 2003; Ziemann, Iliac, Pauli, Meintzschel, & Ruge, 2004). This hypothesis is reflective of a common focus on the synapse as the primary place in which learning occurs in the brain. However, it has been argued that other mechanisms of plasticity in the central nervous may also contribute to the phenomenon called learning.