Event Abstract

Optimization of synaptic transmission during long-term plasticity explains expression loci

  • 1 University of Oxford, Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, United Kingdom
  • 2 University of Oxford, Department of Pharmacology, United Kingdom
  • 3 New York University School of Medicine, Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, Departments of Otolaryngology, Neuroscience and Physiology, United States
  • 4 New York University, Center for Neural Science, United States

Changes in synaptic strength are believed to be the neuronal basis of learning and memory. A multitude of experimental protocols have been used to induce such long-term synaptic plasticity. However, the exact amplitude of change, the duration of the effect and its locus of expression (pre- or postsynaptic) is often variable. The underlying causes for these variabilities have remained unclear. Here we introduce a framework in which long-term plasticity aims to optimize synaptic transmission statistics towards a presumed target strength. Consequently, the exact pre- and postsynaptic states at the time of plasticity induction determine the observed ratio of pre/post modifications. Using this framework we can predict the locus of synaptic changes observed in individual hippocampal and neocortical potentiation and depression experiments. We show that it is more efficient to long-term depress synapses presynaptically as has been observed experimentally. Furthermore, our framework captures the expression locus of plasticity across different synaptic states. We demonstrate that the distance to the target - the prediction error - is calculated postsynaptically and that the presynaptic changes are controlled through feedback release of nitric oxide and endocannabinoids. Finally, our framework suggests an excitatory-inhibitory statistical balance in which the statistics of inhibitory synaptic transmission are tuned through long-term plasticity to balance neural activity by targeting the mean excitatory conductance. By showing that during long-term plasticity, synaptic response statistics are optimized towards a functional target, our work may lay to rest the long standing pre/post debate, help to explain the high degree of variability in weight modification typically observed in experiments.

Keywords: Long-term synaptic plasticity, Synaptic Transmission, Statistical Distributions, optimization, postsynaptic, Presynaptic

Conference: Neuroinformatics 2016, Reading, United Kingdom, 3 Sep - 4 Sep, 2016.

Presentation Type: Poster

Topic: Computational neuroscience

Citation: Costa R, Padamsey Z, D'Amour JA, Emptage N, Froemke RC and Vogels TP (2016). Optimization of synaptic transmission during long-term plasticity explains expression loci. Front. Neuroinform. Conference Abstract: Neuroinformatics 2016. doi: 10.3389/conf.fninf.2016.20.00026

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Received: 26 Apr 2016; Published Online: 18 Jul 2016.

* Correspondence: Dr. Rui Ponte Costa, University of Oxford, Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, Oxford, OX1 3SR, United Kingdom, rui.costa@bristol.ac.uk

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