Timezone: »
Synapses exhibit an extraordinary degree of shortterm malleability, with release probabilities and effective synaptic strengths changing markedly over multiple timescales. From the perspective of a fixed computational operation in a network, this seems like a most unacceptable degree of added noise. We suggest an alternative theory according to which short term synaptic plasticity plays a normativelyjustifiable role. This theory starts from the commonplace observation that the spiking of a neuron is an incomplete, digital, report of the analog quantity that contains all the critical information, namely its membrane potential. We suggest that one key task for a synapse is to solve the inverse problem of estimating the presynaptic membrane potential from the spikes it receives and prior expectations, as in a recursive filter. We show that shortterm synaptic depression has canonical dynamics which closely resemble those required for optimal estimation, and that it indeed supports high quality estimation. Under this account, the local postsynaptic potential and the level of synaptic resources track the (scaled) mean and variance of the estimated presynaptic membrane potential. We make experimentally testable predictions for how the statistics of subthreshold membrane potential fluctuations and the form of spiking nonlinearity should be related to the properties of shortterm plasticity in any particular cell type.
Author Information
JeanPascal Pfister (Cambridge University)
Peter Dayan (Gatsby Unit, UCL)
I am Director of the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at University College London. I studied mathematics at the University of Cambridge and then did a PhD at the University of Edinburgh, specialising in associative memory and reinforcement learning. I did postdocs with Terry Sejnowski at the Salk Institute and Geoff Hinton at the University of Toronto, then became an Assistant Professor in Brain and Cognitive Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before moving to UCL.
Mate Lengyel (University of Cambridge)
Related Events (a corresponding poster, oral, or spotlight)

2009 Oral: Know Thy Neighbour: A Normative Theory of Synaptic Depression »
Wed. Dec 9th 05:50  06:10 PM Room
More from the Same Authors

2022 Poster: Training stochastic stabilized supralinear networks by dynamicsneutral growth »
Wayne Soo · Mate Lengyel 
2021 Poster: A universal probabilistic spike count model reveals ongoing modulation of neural variability »
David Liu · Mate Lengyel 
2018 Poster: Integrated accounts of behavioral and neuroimaging data using flexible recurrent neural network models »
Amir Dezfouli · Richard Morris · Fabio Ramos · Peter Dayan · Bernard Balleine 
2018 Oral: Integrated accounts of behavioral and neuroimaging data using flexible recurrent neural network models »
Amir Dezfouli · Richard Morris · Fabio Ramos · Peter Dayan · Bernard Balleine 
2018 Poster: Exact natural gradient in deep linear networks and its application to the nonlinear case »
Alberto Bernacchia · Mate Lengyel · Guillaume Hennequin 
2016 Poster: Efficient statespace modularization for planning: theory, behavioral and neural signatures »
Daniel McNamee · Daniel M Wolpert · Mate Lengyel 
2014 Poster: BayesAdaptive Simulationbased Search with Value Function Approximation »
Arthur Guez · Nicolas Heess · David Silver · Peter Dayan 
2014 Poster: Analog Memories in a Balanced RateBased Network of EI Neurons »
Dylan Festa · Guillaume Hennequin · Mate Lengyel 
2014 Poster: A Dual Algorithm for Olfactory Computation in the Locust Brain »
Sina Tootoonian · Mate Lengyel 
2014 Oral: Analog Memories in a Balanced RateBased Network of EI Neurons »
Dylan Festa · Guillaume Hennequin · Mate Lengyel 
2014 Poster: Fast SamplingBased Inference in Balanced Neuronal Networks »
Guillaume Hennequin · Laurence Aitchison · Mate Lengyel 
2013 Invited Talk: Neural Reinforcement Learning »
Peter Dayan 
2013 Poster: Correlations strike back (again): the case of associative memory retrieval »
Cristina Savin · Peter Dayan · Mate Lengyel 
2013 Oral: Correlations strike back (again): the case of associative memory retrieval »
Cristina Savin · Peter Dayan · Mate Lengyel 
2012 Poster: Efficient BayesAdaptive Reinforcement Learning using SampleBased Search »
Arthur Guez · David Silver · Peter Dayan 
2011 Session: Oral Session 11 »
Mate Lengyel 
2011 Poster: Two is better than one: distinct roles for familiarity and recollection in retrieving palimpsest memories »
Cristina Savin · Peter Dayan · Mate Lengyel 
2011 Poster: Sequence learning with hidden units in spiking neural networks »
Johanni Brea · Walter Senn · JeanPascal Pfister 
2011 Spotlight: Sequence learning with hidden units in spiking neural networks »
Johanni Brea · Walter Senn · JeanPascal Pfister 
2011 Poster: Active dendrites: adaptation to spikebased communication »
Balazs B Ujfalussy · Mate Lengyel 
2011 Spotlight: Active dendrites: adaptation to spikebased communication »
Balazs B Ujfalussy · Mate Lengyel 
2009 Workshop: Normative electrophysiology: Explaining cellular properties of neurons from first principles »
JeanPascal Pfister · Mate Lengyel 
2009 Poster: Statistical Models of Linear and Nonlinear Contextual Interactions in Early Visual Processing »
Ruben CoenCagli · Peter Dayan · Odelia Schwartz 
2009 Spotlight: Statistical Models of Linear and Nonlinear Contextual Interactions in Early Visual Processing »
Ruben CoenCagli · Peter Dayan · Odelia Schwartz 
2008 Oral: Load and Attentional Bayes »
Peter Dayan 
2008 Poster: Load and Attentional Bayes »
Peter Dayan 
2008 Poster: Depression: an RL formulation and a behavioural test »
Quentin J Huys · Joshua T Vogelstein · Peter Dayan 
2008 Poster: Bayesian Model of Behaviour in Economic Games »
Debajyoti Ray · Brooks KingCasas · P. Read Montague · Peter Dayan 
2007 Oral: Hippocampal Contributions to Control: The Third Way »
Mate Lengyel · Peter Dayan 
2007 Poster: Hippocampal Contributions to Control: The Third Way »
Mate Lengyel · Peter Dayan 
2006 Poster: Uncertainty, phase and oscillatory hippocampal recall »
Mate Lengyel · Peter Dayan 
2006 Talk: Uncertainty, phase and oscillatory hippocampal recall »
Mate Lengyel · Peter Dayan