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Pattern-dependent, simultaneous plasticity differentially transforms the input-output relationship of a feedforward circuit.


ABSTRACT: Memories are believed to be encoded by changes in the synaptic connections between neurons. Although many forms of synaptic plasticity have been identified, it remains unknown how such changes affect local circuits. Feedforward inhibitory networks are a common type of local circuitry and occur when principal neurons and their afferent inhibitory interneurons receive the same input. Using slices of cerebellar cortex, we explored how synaptic plasticity at multiple sites within a feedforward inhibitory network consisting of parallel fibers, interneurons, and Purkinje neurons alters the output of this circuit. We found that stimuli resembling baseline activity potentiated feedforward excitatory and simultaneously depressed feedforward inhibitory pathways. In contrast, stimuli resembling sensory-evoked patterns of firing potentiated both types of feedforward connections. These distinct forms of ensemble plasticity change the way Purkinje neurons subsequently respond to inputs. Such concerted changes in the circuitry of cerebellar cortex may contribute to certain forms of sensorimotor learning.

SUBMITTER: Smith SL 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC1253560 | BioStudies | 2005-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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