Claudia Clopath
Universite Paris Decartes

Why is connectivity in barrel cortex different from that in visual cortex? - A plasticity model

Wednesday 15th of December 2010 at 12:00pm
508-20 Evans Hall

Electrophysiological connectivity patterns in cortex often show a few strong connections in a sea of weak connections. In some brain areas a large fraction of strong connections are bidirectional, in others they are mainly unidirectional. In order to explain these connectivity patterns, we use a model of Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity where synaptic changes depend on presynaptic spike arrival and the postsynaptic membrane potential, filtered with two different time constants. The model describes several nonlinear effects in STDP experiments, as well as the voltage dependence of plasticity under voltage clamp and classical paradigms of LTP/LTD induction. We show that in a simulated recurrent network of spiking neurons our plasticity rule leads not only to development of localized receptive fields, but also to connectivity patterns that reflect the neural code: for temporal coding paradigms with spatio-temporal input correlations,strong connections are predominantly unidirectional, whereas they are bidirectional under rate coded input with spatial correlations only. Thus variable connectivity patterns in the brain, mainly unidirectional in barrel cortex versus bidirectional in visual cortex, could reflect different coding principles across brain areas.

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