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Context-Sensitive Synaptic Plasticity



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Proc Natl Acad Sci USA Vol 94 pp 10403 10408 September 1997 Neurobiology Context sensitive synaptic plasticity and temporal to spatial transformations in hippocampal slices DEAN V BUONOMANO PETER W HICKMOTT AND MICHAEL M MERZENICH Keck Center for Integrative Neuroscience University of California San Francisco San Francisco CA 94143 Edited by Lily Yeh Jan University of California San Francisco San Francisco CA and approved July 16 1997 received for review May 27 1997 neurons to respond selectively to each stimulus or to generate two different behavioral responses the nervous system must perform a temporal to spatial transformation That is information initially encoded in the temporal pattern of inputs must ultimately be encoded by different populations of neurons We have previously proposed that networks of neurons are intrinsically able to implement temporal to spatial transformations as a result of short term forms of plasticity and slow synaptic events 10 Specifically if a 100 ms interval is bounded by two input pulses the first pulse will activate a subpopulation of units and trigger a series of processes such as paired pulse facilitation PPF and slow inhibitory postsynaptic potentials Even though the second pulse is identical to the first it will activate a different subpopulation of units because the network is in a different state as a result of the occurrence of the first pulse some synapses will be facilitated while some cells will be inhibited Differences in population responses to the first and second pulses can be viewed as a temporal to spatial transform and used to code intervals or order A prediction that emerges from this model is that it should be possible to record differences in the activity of a population of neurons in response to the first versus a second pulse In the present paper we tested this prediction by using hippocampal slices to study the transformations that take place as activity flows through a network of neurons ABSTRACT Hippocampal



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