Feb 4, 2016

Somato-dendritic Synaptic Plasticity and Error-backpropagation in Active Dendrites

PLoS Computational Biology
Mathieu SchiessWalter Senn


In the last decade dendrites of cortical neurons have been shown to nonlinearly combine synaptic inputs by evoking local dendritic spikes. It has been suggested that these nonlinearities raise the computational power of a single neuron, making it comparable to a 2-layer network of point neurons. But how these nonlinearities can be incorporated into the synaptic plasticity to optimally support learning remains unclear. We present a theoretically derived synaptic plasticity rule for supervised and reinforcement learning that depends on the timing of the presynaptic, the dendritic and the postsynaptic spikes. For supervised learning, the rule can be seen as a biological version of the classical error-backpropagation algorithm applied to the dendritic case. When modulated by a delayed reward signal, the same plasticity is shown to maximize the expected reward in reinforcement learning for various coding scenarios. Our framework makes specific experimental predictions and highlights the unique advantage of active dendrites for implementing powerful synaptic plasticity rules that have access to downstream information via backpropagation of action potentials.

  • References31
  • Citations5


Mentioned in this Paper

Presynaptic Terminals
Action Potentials
Neuronal Plasticity
Psychological Reinforcement
Structure of Cortex of Kidney
Postsynaptic Membrane

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Bone Marrow Neoplasms

Bone Marrow Neoplasms are cancers that occur in the bone marrow. Discover the latest research on Bone Marrow Neoplasms here.

IGA Glomerulonephritis

IgA glomerulonephritis is a chronic form of glomerulonephritis characterized by deposits of predominantly Iimmunoglobin A in the mesangial area. Discover the latest research on IgA glomerulonephritis here.

Cryogenic Electron Microscopy

Cryogenic electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) allows the determination of biological macromolecules and their assemblies at a near-atomic resolution. Here is the latest research.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.

LRRK2 & Immunity During Infection

Mutations in the LRRK2 gene are a risk-factor for developing Parkinson’s disease. However, LRRK2 has been shown to function as a central regulator of vesicular trafficking, infection, immunity, and inflammation. Here is the latest research on the role of this kinase on immunity during infection.

Antiphospholipid Syndrome

Antiphospholipid syndrome or antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS or APLS), is an autoimmune, hypercoagulable state caused by the presence of antibodies directed against phospholipids.

Meningococcal Myelitis

Meningococcal myelitis is characterized by inflammation and myelin damage to the meninges and spinal cord. Discover the latest research on meningococcal myelitis here.

Alzheimer's Disease: MS4A

Variants within membrane-spanning 4-domains subfamily A (MS4A) gene cluster have recently been implicated in Alzheimer's disease by recent genome-wide association studies. Here is the latest research.