Extending the effects of spike-timing-dependent plasticity to behavioral timescales

Patrick J. Drew, L. F. Abbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Activity-dependent modification of synaptic strengths due to spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) is sensitive to correlations between pre- and postsynaptic firing over timescales of tens of milliseconds. Temporal associations typically encountered in behavioral tasks involve times on the order of seconds. To relate the learning of such temporal associations to STDP, we must account for this large discrepancy in timescales. We show that the gap between synaptic and behavioral timescales can be bridged if the stimuli being associated generate sustained responses that vary appropriately in time. Synapses between neurons that fire this way can be modified by STDP in a manner that depends on the temporal ordering of events separated by several seconds even though the underlying plasticity has a much smaller temporal window.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8876-8881
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 6 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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