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Trends Neurosci. 2001 Jul;24(7):381-5.

Short-term synaptic plasticity as a temporal filter.

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Dept of Biology, University of Utah, 257 South 1400 East, 84112, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.


Synaptic efficacy can increase (synaptic facilitation) or decrease (synaptic depression) markedly within milliseconds after the onset of specific temporal patterns of activity. Recent evidence suggests that short-term synaptic depression contributes to low-pass temporal filtering, and can account for a well-known paradox - many low-pass neurons respond vigorously to transients and the onsets of high temporal-frequency stimuli. The use of depression for low-pass filtering, however, is itself a paradox; depression induced by ongoing high-temporal frequency stimuli could preclude desired responses to low-temporal frequency information. This problem can be circumvented, however, by activation of short-term synaptic facilitation that maintains responses to low-temporal frequency information. Such short-term plasticity might also contribute to spatio-temporal processing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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