University of Cambridge > > CUED Control Group Seminars > Long-term dynamics of synapses and representations in the mouse auditory cortex

Long-term dynamics of synapses and representations in the mouse auditory cortex

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Alberto Padoan.

A traditional view of the healthy, adult brain is that it has—after a period of developmental plasticity—reached a mature and highly stable state. This stable state safeguards stable brain function and therefore plastic adaptations in brain circuits are typically only transiently observed in response to external events, such as learning-related memory formation. However, recent findings challenge this view and indicate that neuronal circuits in the adult brain display a surprisingly high level of intrinsic dynamics even under environmentally stable conditions. I will share data from chronic in vivo imaging studies in the auditory cortex of mice. At the connectivity level following individual synaptic connections and at the activity level monitoring functional cell assemblies over the course of multiple days, we observe substantial remodeling of the individual elements, while global parameters such as synapse density or fraction of sound responsive cells are stably maintained. This indicates that neuronal networks operate in a dynamic equilibrium during basal conditions. Auditory cued fear conditioning transiently disrupts this equilibrium and introduces specific biases the dynamics of synapses as well as auditory representations. Continuous, intrinsic dynamics appear to be a fundamental property of neural circuits and could endow them with computational abilities a fixed structure cannot offer.

This talk is part of the CUED Control Group Seminars series.

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