Functional consequences of pre- and postsynaptic expression of synaptic plasticity

Rui Ponte Costa, Beatriz E P Mizusaki, P Jesper Sjöström, Mark C W van Rossum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)
259 Downloads (Pure)


Growing experimental evidence shows that both homeostatic and Hebbian synaptic plasticity can be expressed presynaptically as well as postsynaptically. In this review, we start by discussing this evidence and methods used to determine expression loci. Next, we discuss the functional consequences of this diversity in pre- and postsynaptic expression of both homeostatic and Hebbian synaptic plasticity. In particular, we explore the functional consequences of a biologically tuned model of pre- and postsynaptically expressed spike-timing-dependent plasticity complemented with postsynaptic homeostatic control. The pre- and postsynaptic expression in this model predicts (i) more reliable receptive fields and sensory perception, (ii) rapid recovery of forgotten information (memory savings), and (iii) reduced response latencies, compared with a model with postsynaptic expression only. Finally, we discuss open questions that will require a considerable research effort to better elucidate how the specific locus of expression of homeostatic and Hebbian plasticity alters synaptic and network computations.This article is part of the themed issue 'Integrating Hebbian and homeostatic plasticity'.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20160153
Number of pages10
JournalPhilosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1715
Early online date16 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2017


  • Animals
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Memory
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Reaction Time
  • Sensation


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