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YEAR : 2021

Calcium and spike timing-dependent plasticity

AUTHORS : Inglebert Y, Debanne D.

JOURNAL : Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Since its discovery, spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP) has been thought to be a primary mechanism underlying the brain’s ability to learn and to form new memories. However, despite the enormous interest in both the experimental and theoretical neuroscience communities in activity-dependent plasticity, it is still unclear whether plasticity rules inferred from in vitro experiments apply to in vivo conditions. Among the multiple reasons why plasticity rules in vivo might differ significantly from in vitro studies is that extracellular calcium concentration use in most studies is higher than concentrations estimated in vivo. STDP, like many forms of long-term synaptic plasticity, strongly depends on intracellular calcium influx for its induction. Here, we discuss the importance of considering physiological levels of extracellular calcium concentration to study functional plasticity.