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Plasticity Notes

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Lecture 43 Plasticity

General o Need to be able to adapt our environment and store information
 Development
 Learning & memory
 Disease & addiction o Plasticity relates to the idea that the nervous system is modifiable o What can we change?
 Action potentials

• 'All or nothing' so can't change size

• Could possibly change probability of AP being fired
 Synaptic transmission

• Can reduce amount of NT release & thus change EPSP Synaptic plasticity, development and memory o Cell death and synapse elimination/re-organisation
 Establishing correct synaptic connections is essential to neuronal survival. Neurones lose in competition and fail to survive (keep important ones)
 Neurons appear to have target synaptic activity (max. number of synapses) o Mechanisms of pathway formation
 Large-scale reduction in neurons and synapses o Development of brain function
 Balance between genesis and elimination of cells and synapses o Apoptosis: programmed cells death o Start off with more neurons than need, but during development, lose these Activity-dependent synaptic rearrangement o Synaptic rearrangement
 Change from one pattern to another
 Consequence of neural activity/synaptic transmission before and after birth
 Critical period
 Example

• A & B both have some amount of post-synaptic connections (3)

• B is driven more & has stronger connections & is more in tune with target cell. Makes more connections & keeps other connections (5) o Synaptic segregation
 Refinement of synaptic connections
 Segregation of retinal outputs

• Retinal waves (in utero)- activity of two eyes not correlated
segregation in LGN

• Process of synaptic stability (Hebbian modifications)

• Plasticity at Hebb synapses

• "Winner takes all" o Hebbian synaptic modification
 Hebb synapse=strength changes when pre/postsynaptic neurons act together

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