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Talk by Prof. Stefan Rotter

Bernstein Center and University of Freiburg

03 Feb 2021 11:00
03 Feb 2021 12:00

We hereby announce the next talk in the
'Computation and Systems Neuroscience Virtual Seminar' in short: 'CSN Virtual Seminar'

Homeostatic Structural Plasticity and Cortical Network


Prof. Stefan Rotter
Bernstein Center and
University of Freiburg

on Wed, 3rd of Feb 2021, 11am


Networks of the brain undergo continuous rewiring, on multiple time scales, and throughout the full life span of the organism. Development and adolescence, adult learning, as well as aging are accompanied by massive plastic changes of synaptic connectivity. This raises some pressing theoretical issues: How can these processes be controlled in a robust way? How can a healthy balance of excitation and inhibition be maintained while the network continuously adapts to new input conditions? How can the biological function of such a network (e.g. tuning curves in a sensory network) be stable in view massive network remodeling? As a candidate mechanism, we explored structural plasticity based on the principle of homeostatic control of neuronal activity. We found that this paradigm elegantly solves several problems of adaptive networks at the same time: It can (1) reliably grow large recurrent networks comprised of excitatory and inhibitory neurons, (2) maintain a robust dynamic equilibrium once the initial growth process has come to an end, (3) swiftly adapt to changing input conditions and keep a stable memory of them, and (4) implement basic associative functionality without explicit reference to correlation. I will also briefly discuss recent applications of this model to study primary visual cortex development, and transcranial DC stimulation.

Guests are welcome.