The Many Worlds of Plasticity Rules

Trends Neurosci. 2018 Mar;41(3):124-127. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2018.01.006. Epub 2018 Feb 1.


Two recent papers have tackled the fundamental questions of how place fields are formed in a new environment and what plasticity mechanisms contribute to this process. Bittner et al., in their recent publication, discovered a novel plasticity rule that, in contrast to previous rules, spans the behavioral, seconds-long, timescale. Sheffield et al. have monitored, for the first time, dendritic activity during place field formation, and show the emergence of spatially tuned local NMDA spikes in basal dendrites of CA1 neurons. Together, these papers suggest that multiple complementary dendritic plasticity mechanisms may contribute to place field formation in changing environmental contexts.

Keywords: LTP; dendrites; hippocampus; place cells; plasticity; spikes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Dendrites*
  • Hippocampus
  • Neuronal Plasticity*
  • Neurons