Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization -- Department for Nonlinear Dynamics and Network Dynamics Group
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Tuesday, 16.06.2015 17:15 c.t.

Neuronal plasticity implementing cooperative networks with: low firing rates, macroscopic cortical oscillations and microsecond precision

by Prof. Dr. Ido Kanter
from Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel

Contact person: Marc Timme


Ludwig Prandtl lecture hall


Realizations of low firing rates in neural networks usually require globally balanced distributions among excitatory and inhibitory synapses, while feasibility of temporal coding is limited by neuronal millisecond precision. We show that low firing rates as well as cortical oscillations stem from the neuronal plasticity in the form of neuronal unreliability. Specifically, above a critical stimulation frequency, which varies among neurons, stochastic response failures were found to emerge, in-vitro and in-vivo, such that the neuron functions as a low pass filter, saturating the average inter-spike-interval. This intrinsic neuronal plasticity leads to cooperation on a network level, such that firing rates are suppressed towards the lowest neuronal critical frequency simultaneously with neuronal microsecond precision. In addition we experimentally and theoretically show that this neuronal plasticity counterintuitively leads to macroscopic cortical oscillations. Our findings suggest a possible realization of reliable signaling in temporal codes and question the functionalities attributed to neuronal inhibition.

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