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Talk by Rui Ponte Costa

Center for Neural Circuits and Behavior (CNCB) and Center for NeuroTheory, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG), University of Oxford, United Kingdom

25 Sep 2015 11:00
25 Sep 2015
INM-6, Bldg. 15.22, Seminar Room 3009, 1. OG

Why does the brain need both pre- and postsynaptic long-term plasticity?

Although it is well known that long-term synaptic plasticity can be expressed both pre- and postsynaptically, the functional consequences of this arrangement have remained elusive. In this talk I will describe how spike-timing-dependent plasticity with both pre- and postsynaptic expression develops receptive fields with reduced variability and improved discriminability compared to postsynaptic plasticity alone. These long-term modifications in receptive field statistics match recent sensory perception experiments. Moreover, learning with this form of plasticity leaves a hidden postsynaptic memory trace that enables fast relearning of previously stored information, providing a cellular substrate for memory savings. Our results reveal essential roles for presynaptic plasticity that are missed when only postsynaptic expression of long-term plasticity is considered, and suggest an experience-dependent distribution of pre- and postsynaptic strength changes.

Host: Renato Duarte