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Neuron. 2006 Jul 20;51(2):153-5.

A dynamic spatial gradient of Hebbian learning in dendrites.

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  • 1Neurobiology Section, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.


Backpropagating action potentials (bAPs) are an important signal for associative synaptic plasticity in many neurons, but they often fail to fully invade distal dendrites. In this issue of Neuron, Sjöström and Häusser show that distal propagation failure leads to a spatial gradient of Hebbian plasticity in neocortical pyramidal cells. This gradient can be overcome by cooperative distal synaptic input, leading to fundamentally distinct Hebbian learning rules for distal versus proximal synapses.

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