Frequency-dependent synaptic potentiation, depression, and spike timing induced by Hebbian pairing

Author(s): Grossberg, S. | Okatan, M. |

Year: 2000

Citation: Neural Networks, 13, 699-708

Abstract: Experiments by Markram and Tsodyks (Nature, 382 (1996) 807?810) have suggested that Hebbian pairing in cortical pyramidal neurons potentiates or depresses the transmission of a subsequent pre-synaptic spike train at steady-state depending on whether the spike train is of low frequency or high frequency, respectively. The frequency above which pairing induced a significant decrease in steady-state synaptic efficacy was as low as about 20 Hz and this value depends on such synaptic properties as probability of release and time constant of recovery from short-term synaptic depression. These characteristics of cortical synapses have not yet been fully explained by neural models, notably the decreased steady-state synaptic efficacy at high pre-synaptic firing rates. This article suggests that this decrease in synaptic efficacy in cortical synapses was not observed at steady-state, but rather during a transition period preceding it whose duration is frequency-dependent. It is shown that the time taken to reach steady-state may be frequency-dependent, and may take considerably longer to occur at high than low frequencies. As a result, the pairing-induced decrease in synaptic efficacy at high pre-synaptic firing rates helps to localize the firing of the post-synaptic neuron to a short time interval following the onset of high-frequency pre-synaptic spike trains. This effect may ?speed up the time scale? in response to high-frequency bursts of spikes, and may contribute to rapid synchronization of spike firing across cortical cells that are bound together by associatively learned connections.

Topics: Biological Learning, Models: Other,

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