Dec 7, 2013

Theta-specific susceptibility in a model of adaptive synaptic plasticity

Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience
Christian AlbersKlaus R Pawelzik


Learning and memory formation are processes which are still not fully understood. It is widely believed that synaptic plasticity is the most important neural substrate for both. However, it has been observed that large-scale theta band oscillations in the mammalian brain are beneficial for learning, and it is not clear if and how this is linked to synaptic plasticity. Also, the underlying dynamics of synaptic plasticity itself have not been completely uncovered yet, especially for non-linear interactions between multiple spikes. Here, we present a new and simple dynamical model of synaptic plasticity. It incorporates novel contributions to synaptic plasticity including adaptation processes. We test its ability to reproduce non-linear effects on four different data sets of complex spike patterns, and show that the model can be tuned to reproduce the observed synaptic changes in great detail. When subjected to periodically varying firing rates, already linear pair based spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP) predicts a specific susceptibility of synaptic plasticity to pre- and postsynaptic firing rate oscillations in the theta-band. Our model retains this band-pass property, while for high firing rates in the non-linear regime ...Continue Reading

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