What are NMDA receptors?
NMDA receptors are related to memory, more precisely with LTP ( long-term potentiation ). NMDA refers to the amino acid N-methyl-D-aspartic, a common neurotransmitter. The NMDA receptor has an interesting feature that is responsible for creating memory tracks in the brain and especially in the memory center - the hippocampus.
The NMDA receptor is an AND gate and a memory track recorder in the brain
The NMDA receptor functions as an AND gate with three inputs (one electric and two chemical) and two outputs (one electric and one chemical). The electrical input is the voltage on the membrane of the neuron. The chemical inputs are the NMDA synaptic signal and the glycine / serine signal. The electrical output is the depolarization (postsynaptic) of the neuron, the chemical output is the increase in calcium levels, which causes the formation of its own memory trace. Remembering (association) of different inputs only occurs when two strong signals arrive at the same time. For example, when we take a Pavlovian dog, the food or bell alone will not create a conditional reflex. Only if a beast is offered at the same time as a ringing, the memory neuron, which is activated by taste and sound, simultaneously performs its AND function, its NMDA receptors bring calcium in and amplifies the synaptic power of the sound stimulus so that the dog then sinks only on the ring. Whoever twists his head can make an experiment on himself-for example, a pair of winks and bells. (Tell your friend to blow your eye on the cornea at irregular intervals, and always ring the bell, you'll see that after about fifteen repetitions you'll be blinking stupidly at the sound of the bell.)