Hebb and homeostasis in neuronal plasticity

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2000 Jun;10(3):358-64. doi: 10.1016/s0959-4388(00)00091-x.


The positive-feedback nature of Hebbian plasticity can destabilize the properties of neuronal networks. Recent work has demonstrated that this destabilizing influence is counteracted by a number of homeostatic plasticity mechanisms that stabilize neuronal activity. Such mechanisms include global changes in synaptic strengths, changes in neuronal excitability, and the regulation of synapse number. These recent studies suggest that Hebbian and homeostatic plasticity often target the same molecular substrates, and have opposing effects on synaptic or neuronal properties. These advances significantly broaden our framework for understanding the effects of activity on synaptic function and neuronal excitability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Feedback / physiology
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*