Astrocytes: Orchestrating synaptic plasticity?
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Synaptic plasticity is the capacity of a preexisting connection between two neurons to change in strength as a function of neural activity. Because synaptic plasticity is the major candidate mechanism for learning and memory, the elucidation of its constituting mechanisms is of crucial importance in many aspects of normal and pathological brain function. In particular, a prominent aspect that remains debated is how the plasticity mechanisms, that encompass a broad spectrum of temporal and spatial scales, come to play together in a concerted fashion. Here we review and discuss evidence that pinpoints to a possible non-neuronal, glial candidate for such orchestration: the regulation of synaptic plasticity by astrocytes.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.04.001
Publication InfoDe Pittà, M; Brunel, N; & Volterra, A (2016). Astrocytes: Orchestrating synaptic plasticity?. Neuroscience, 323. pp. 43-61. 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.04.001. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/23351.
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Duke School of Medicine Distinguished Professor in Neuroscience
We use theoretical models of brain systems to investigate how they process and learn information from their inputs. Our current work focuses on the mechanisms of learning and memory, from the synapse to the network level, in collaboration with various experimental groups. Using methods fromstatistical physics, we have shown recently that the synapticconnectivity of a network that maximizes storage capacity reproducestwo key experimentally observed features: low connection proba
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