Silent synapses abound in the young brain, representing an early step in the pathway of experience-dependent synaptic development. Discovered amidst the debate over whether long-term potentiation reflects a presynaptic or a postsynaptic modification, silent synapses--which in the hippocampal CA1 subfield are characterized by the presence of NMDA receptors but not AMPA receptors--have stirred some mechanistic controversy of their own. Out of this literature has emerged a model for synapse unsilencing that highlights the central role for postsynaptic AMPA-receptor trafficking in the expression of excitatory synaptic plasticity.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nrn2501
View details for Web of Science ID 000260184000013
View details for PubMedID 18854855