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Neuron. 2004 Sep 30;44(1):23-30.

Spike timing-dependent plasticity of neural circuits.

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Division of Neurobiology, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA.


Recent findings of spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) have stimulated much interest among experimentalists and theorists. Beyond the traditional correlation-based Hebbian plasticity, STDP opens up new avenues for understanding information coding and circuit plasticity that depend on the precise timing of neuronal spikes. Here we summarize experimental characterization of STDP at various synapses, the underlying cellular mechanisms, and the associated changes in neuronal excitability and dendritic integration. We also describe STDP in the context of complex spike patterns and its dependence on the dendritic location of the synapse. Finally, we discuss timing-dependent modification of neuronal receptive fields and human visual perception and the computational significance of STDP as a synaptic learning rule.

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