Distinct Eligibility Traces for LTP and LTD in Cortical Synapses

Kaiwen He, Marco Huertas, Su Z. Hong, XiaoXiu Tie, Johannes W Hell, Harel Shouval, Alfredo Kirkwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

In reward-based learning, synaptic modifications depend on a brief stimulus and a temporally delayed reward, which poses the question of how synaptic activity patterns associate with a delayed reward. A theoretical solution to this so-called distal reward problem has been the notion of activity-generated "synaptic eligibility traces," silent and transient synaptic tags that can be converted into long-term changes in synaptic strength by reward-linked neuromodulators. Here we report the first experimental demonstration of eligibility traces in cortical synapses. We demonstrate the Hebbian induction of distinct traces for LTP and LTD and their subsequent timing-dependent transformation into lasting changes by specific monoaminergic receptors anchored to postsynaptic proteins. Notably, the temporal properties of these transient traces allow stable learning in a recurrent neural network that accurately predicts the timing of the reward, further validating the induction and transformation of eligibility traces for LTP and LTD as a plausible synaptic substrate for reward-based learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-538
Number of pages11
JournalNeuron
Volume88
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 4 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Distinct Eligibility Traces for LTP and LTD in Cortical Synapses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this