Stability of complex spike timing-dependent plasticity in cerebellar learning

J Comput Neurosci. 2007 Jun;22(3):283-96. doi: 10.1007/s10827-006-0012-8. Epub 2007 Jan 3.


Dynamics of spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity are analyzed for excitatory and inhibitory synapses onto cerebellar Purkinje cells. The purpose of this study is to place theoretical constraints on candidate synaptic learning rules that determine the changes in synaptic efficacy due to pairing complex spikes with presynaptic spikes in parallel fibers and inhibitory interneurons. Constraints are derived for the timing between complex spikes and presynaptic spikes, constraints that result from the stability of the learning dynamics of the learning rule. Potential instabilities in the parallel fiber synaptic learning rule are found to be stabilized by synaptic plasticity at inhibitory synapses if the inhibitory learning rules are stable, and conditions for stability of inhibitory plasticity are given. Combining excitatory with inhibitory plasticity provides a mechanism for minimizing the overall synaptic input. Stable learning rules are shown to be able to sculpt simple-spike patterns by regulating the excitability of neurons in the inferior olive that give rise to climbing fibers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Cerebellar Cortex / physiology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials / physiology
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Long-Term Synaptic Depression / physiology
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Olivary Nucleus / physiology
  • Purkinje Cells / physiology*
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / physiology
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology
  • Time Factors


  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate