Developmental depression-facilitation shift controls excitation-inhibition balance

David Jia, Rui Ponte Costa*, Tim P Vogels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Other contribution


Changes in the short-term dynamics of excitatory synapses over development have been observed throughout cortex, but their purpose and consequences remain unclear. Here, we propose that developmental changes in synaptic dynamics buffer the effect of slow inhibitory long-term plasticity, allowing for continuously stable neural activity. Using computational modelling we demonstrate that early in development excitatory short-term depression quickly stabilises neural activity, even in the face of strong, unbalanced excitation. We introduce a model of the commonly observed developmental shift from depression to facilitation and show that neural activity remains stable throughout development, while inhibitory synaptic plasticity slowly balances excitation, consistent with experimental observations. Our model predicts changes in the input responses from phasic to phasic-and-tonic and more precise spike timings. We also observe a gradual emergence of synaptic working memory mediated by short-term facilitation. We conclude that the developmental depression-to-facilitation shift may control excitation-inhibition balance throughout development with important functional consequences.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2021

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