This study examines forms of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in the basolateral amygdala in vitro and demonstrates that a brief high frequency stimulus (HFS) train can induce a switch in the direction of the enduring change in synaptic strength induced by subsequent low-frequency stimulation (LFS). LFS (1 Hz, 15 min) of the external capsule (EC) induced a persistent 1.7-fold enhancement in the amplitude of synaptic potentials recorded intracellularly in basolateral amygdala neurons. The enhancement occurred gradually during the stimulation and was maintained for .30 min after termination of the stimulus train. LFS-induced enduring synaptic facilitation was not affected by the NMDA receptor antagonist D(2)-2-amino-5phosphonopentanoate (APV; 100 mM). Brief high-frequency EC stimulation (HFS; 100 Hz, 1 sec) induced APV-sensitive shortterm potentiation (2.5-fold) that generally decayed within 10 min. When LFS was applied after recovery from the short-term potentiating effect of HFS (HFS/LFS), there was an initial transient (,10 min) enhancement of the synaptic response followed by persistent synaptic depression (synaptic potential amplitude reduced by 22% at 30 min). This represents the first demonstration of stimulus-dependent long-lasting synaptic depression in the amygdala. Application of the presynaptic (group II) metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonist 2S-aethylglutamic acid (EGLU; 50 mM) prevented the HFSdependent switch from synaptic facilitation to depression. Thus, LFS in the in vitro amygdala slice can induce either enduring synaptic potentiation or depression, depending on whether a priming HFS train has been applied. This experiencedependent switch, a novel form of metaplasticity, is not dependent on NMDA receptors but may require group II metabotropic glutamate receptors. In the amygdala, experiential modification of activity-dependent long-term synaptic plasticity adds flexibility to the ways in which synaptic strength can be modified and could play a role in diverse amygdala-dependent processes, including the formation, storage, and extinction of emotional memory and the regulation of epileptogenesis.