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 Fri 03 April 2020 14:00
Online seminar (map)
Note: This is an Online Seminar
Prof Blake Richards
McGill University
Burst-dependent synaptic plasticity can coordinate learning in hierarchical circuits
Abstract: Synaptic plasticity is believed to be a key
physiological mechanism for learning. It is well-established
that it depends on pre and postsynaptic activity. However,
models that rely solely on pre and postsynaptic activity for
synaptic changes have, to date, not been able to account for
learning complex tasks that demand hierarchical
networks. Here, we show that if synaptic plasticity is
regulated by high-frequency bursts of spikes, then neurons
higher in the hierarchy can coordinate the plasticity of
lower-level connections. Using simulations and mathematical
analyses, we demonstrate that, when paired with short-term
synaptic dynamics, regenerative activity in the apical
dendrites, and synaptic plasticity in feedback pathways, a
burst-dependent learning rule can solve challenging tasks that
require deep network architectures. Our results demonstrate
that well-known properties of dendrites, synapses, and
synaptic plasticity are sufficient to enable sophisticated
learning in hierarchical circuits.