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Neuron. 2000 Jul;27(1):45-56.

Timing-based LTP and LTD at vertical inputs to layer II/III pyramidal cells in rat barrel cortex.

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  • 1Neural Development Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Experience-dependent plasticity in somatosensory (S1) and visual (V1) cortex involves rapid depression of responses to a deprived sensory input (a closed eye or a trimmed whisker). Such depression occurs first in layer II/III and may reflect plasticity at vertical inputs from layer IV to layer II/III pyramids. Here, I describe a timing-based, associative form of long-term potentiation and depression (LTP/LTD) at this synapse in S1. LTP occurred when excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) led single postsynaptic action potentials (APs) within a narrow temporal window, and LTD occurred when APs led EPSPs within a significantly broader window. This long LTD window is unusual among timing-based learning rules and causes EPSPs that are uncorrelated with postsynaptic APs to become depressed. This behavior suggests a simple model for depression of deprived sensory responses in S1 and V1.

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