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A role for circadian rhythms in maintaining neuronal properties

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Circadian rhythms cause dramatic, daily oscillations in the state of the nervous system from the level of gene expression to network activity. At the same time, there are well known feedback mechanisms that maintain activity and network properties, permitting stable function in the face of fluctuations due to sensory experience, ongoing plasticity and biological noise. Reconciling circadian oscillations with ongoing ‘homeostatic’ regulation is therefore a challenge, and one that is mysteriously overlooked both theoretically and experimentally. I will present a simple result that shows how large, regular oscillations in the expression of ion channels and receptors in neurons can stabilize neuronal properties that would otherwise degrade under the control of activity-dependent feedback alone.

This talk is part of the Computational and Biological Learning Seminar Series series.

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