Mathematical Biology Seminar

A Mathematical model exploring the role of inhibitory synaptic plasticity on receptive field refinement during development [DELETED]

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Speaker(s): Jennifer Crodelle (Middlebury College, Mathematics)
Communication among neurons in the brain underlies all sensory processing and behavior. The bulk of the structure underlying this communication is constructed during development through activity-dependent plasticity of synapses. Neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1), a region of the brain responsible for processing visual signals, preferentially respond to the orientation angle of the leading edge of a visual stimulus, a property called orientation preference. Underlying the formation of orientation preference during development is the plasticity of synaptic connections between V1 cells, together with feedforward synapses into the visual cortex. Thus far, most experimental and computational investigations have focused on the spike timing-dependent plasticity of synapses between excitatory cells (eSTDP). Spike timing-dependent plasticity of inhibitory synapses (iSTDP) is still being actively researched and several different descriptions of iSTDP across the cortex have arisen. This work uses a biologically-motivated mathematical model to investigate the role of iSTDP in the formation of neuronal circuitries into and within V1. Specifically, we characterize the effect of two different iSTDP descriptions on the formation of feedforward synapses onto a single V1 cell, i.e., on the formation of its orientation preference.

Physics 119