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1178 nature neuroscience supplement volume 3 november 2000 Activity-dependent modification of synapses is a powerful mech-
 

Summary: 1178 nature neuroscience supplement volume 3 november 2000
review
Activity-dependent modification of synapses is a powerful mech-
anism for shaping and modifying the response properties of neu-
rons, but it is also dangerous. Unless changes in synaptic strength
across multiple synapses are coordinated appropriately, the level
of activity in a neural circuit can grow or shrink in an uncontrolled
manner. Hebbian plasticity, in the form of long-term potentiation
(LTP) and depression (LTD), provides the basis for most models
of learning and memory, as well as the development of response
selectivity and cortical maps. These models often invoke ad hoc
mechanisms to stabilize levels of activity. Here we review a number
of recent developments, both experimental and theoretical, that
suggest how changes of synaptic efficacy can be distributed across
synapses and over time so that neuronal circuits can be modified
flexibly yet safely.
Hebb originally conjectured that synapses effective at evoking
a response should grow stronger, but over time Hebbian plasticity
has come to mean any long-lasting form of synaptic modification
(strengthening or weakening) that is synapse specific and depends

  

Source: Abbott, Laurence - Center for Neurobiology and Behavior & Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Columbia University
Boahen, Kwabena - Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Computer Technologies and Information Sciences