Enhancement of synchronization in a hybrid neural circuit by spike timing dependent plasticity

Nowotny, Thomas, Zhigulin, Valentin P, Selverston, Allan I, Abarbanel, Henry D I and Rabinovich, Mikhail I (2003) Enhancement of synchronization in a hybrid neural circuit by spike timing dependent plasticity. Journal of Neuroscience, 23 (30). pp. 9776-9785. ISSN 0270-6474

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Synchronization of neural activity is fundamental for many functions of the brain. We demonstrate that spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) enhances synchronization (entrainment) in a hybrid circuit composed of a spike generator, a dynamic clamp emulating an excitatory plastic synapse, and a chemically isolated neuron from the Aplysia abdominal ganglion. Fixed-phase entrainment of the Aplysia neuron to the spike generator is possible for a much wider range of frequency ratios and is more precise and more robust with the plastic synapse than with a nonplastic synapse of comparable strength. Further analysis in a computational model of HodgkinHuxley-type neurons reveals the mechanism behind this significant enhancement in synchronization. The experimentally observed STDP plasticity curve appears to be designed to adjust synaptic strength to a value suitable for stable entrainment of the postsynaptic neuron. One functional role of STDP might therefore be to facilitate synchronization or entrainment of nonidentical neurons.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Originality: Demonstrates the role of spike-timing dependent plasticity for synchronizing neural activity in a novel hybrid circuit experiment. The results are relevant for many questions, in particular regarding brain rhythms. Rigour: The work comprises hybrid systems experiments with a custom developed soft-real-time system and theoretical modeling work. Significance: The work has introduced a further application of dynamic clamp to the field by, for the first time, implementing plasticity of artificial synapses. The developed dynamic clamp software has since become one of the most popular dynamic clamp packages on the web according to a recent review (Prinz AA et al. (2004) Trends Neurosci 27(4):218-224). Impact: This article has received 10 citations according to Google Scholar.
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Depositing User: Thomas Nowotny
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:02
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 21:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29227

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