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Neuron. 2015 Sep 2;87(5):1050-62. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.08.021.

Sensory-Evoked Spiking Behavior Emerges via an Experience-Dependent Plasticity Mechanism.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3QT, UK; Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, West Wing, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK.
2
Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3QT, UK; University of Toronto Scarborough, Department of Biological Sciences, 1265 Military Trail, Science Wing, Toronto, ON M1C 1A4, Canada.
3
Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3QT, UK. Electronic address: colin.akerman@pharm.ox.ac.uk.

Abstract

The ability to generate action potentials (spikes) in response to synaptic input determines whether a neuron participates in information processing. How a developing neuron becomes an active participant in a circuit or whether this process is activity dependent is not known, especially as spike-dependent plasticity mechanisms would not be available to non-spiking neurons. Here we use the optic tectum of awake Xenopus laevis tadpoles to determine how a neuron becomes able to generate sensory-driven spikes in vivo. At the onset of vision, many tectal neurons do not exhibit visual spiking behavior, despite being intrinsically excitable and receiving visuotopically organized synaptic inputs. However, a brief period of visual stimulation can drive these neurons to start generating stimulus-driven spikes. This conversion relies upon a selective increase in glutamatergic input and requires depolarizing GABAergic transmission and NMDA receptor activation. This permissive form of experience-dependent plasticity enables a neuron to start contributing to circuit function.

PMID:
26335647
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2015.08.021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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