NMDA receptors are neurological celebrities. They’ve been implicated in the most basic, neccasary forms of learning and synaptic plasticity, highlighted by their ability to activate only when certain conditions are met in both “pre” and “post” synaptic neurons.
The now-old neuroscience adage “those that fire together, wire together,” is a fundamental truism primarily because of the work of NMDARs. So it isn’t surprising that a recent paper in Neuron, by Joe Tsien et al, argues that NMDA receptors play a vital role in habit formation. Check out the video abstract above for more.