Diverse synaptic plasticity mechanisms orchestrated to form and retrieve memories in spiking neural networks

Synaptic plasticity, the putative basis of learning and memory formation, manifests in various forms and across different timescales. Here we show that the interaction of Hebbian homosynaptic plasticity with rapid non-Hebbian heterosynaptic plasticity is, when complemented with slower homeostatic changes and consolidation, sufficient for assembly formation and memory recall in a spiking recurrent network model of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. In the model, assemblies were formed during repeated sensory stimulation and characterized by strong recurrent excitatory connections. Even days after formation, and despite ongoing network activity and synaptic plasticity, memories could be recalled through selective delay activity following the brief stimulation of a subset of assembly neurons. Blocking any component of plasticity prevented stable functioning as a memory network. Our modelling results suggest that the diversity of plasticity phenomena in the brain is orchestrated towards achieving common functional goals.

Published in:
Nature Communications, 6, 6922
London, Nature Publishing Group
funded by the European Community under HBP, Facets-ITN, and Brainscales.
F.Z. and W.G. acknowl edge funding by the European Community’s Seventh Framework Program under grant agreement no. 237955 (FACETS-ITN), no. 269921 (BrainScales), no. 604102 (Human Brain Project) and the European Research Council under grant agreement number 268689 (MultiRules). E.J.A. acknowledges funding by the Brazilian agency CAPES

 Record created 2015-04-27, last modified 2019-03-17

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