Invited seminar: Pr. W. Gerstner

2008-11-19 at 12:30

Conference Room 501, UMR7102, UPMC, Bat B 5th floor, 9, quai st Bernard, 75005 Paris


Modeling synaptic plasticity across different time scales: the influence of voltage, spike timing, and protein synthesis

The basis of learning and memory are changes of the synaptic connections between neurons. Obviously, these changes need to persist for weeks or even years to make a long-term memory really useful. Changes of synaptic plasticity can be induced by coordinated activity of the participating neurons as postulated by Hebb 50 years ago. Experimentally one talks about Long-Term-Potentiation (LTP) of synapses (and Long-Term Depression, LTD); in the theoretical literature one talks about `learning rules'. In order to make the theoretical learning rules compatible with experiments one needs to consider for the induction of plasticity: (i) the voltage dependence of LTP and LTD; (ii) the frequency dependence of LTP and LTD; (iii) the spike timing dependence of plasticity. Moreover, one also needs to consider the consolidation process that transforms the early phases of LTP in late LTP, a more stable form.