Why Neuronal Dynamics Should Control Synaptic Learning Rules

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 14 (NIPS 2001)

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Jesper Tegnér, Ádám Kepecs


Hebbian learning rules are generally formulated as static rules. Un(cid:173) der changing condition (e.g. neuromodulation, input statistics) most rules are sensitive to parameters. In particular, recent work has focused on two different formulations of spike-timing-dependent plasticity rules. Additive STDP [1] is remarkably versatile but also very fragile, whereas multiplicative STDP [2, 3] is more ro(cid:173) bust but lacks attractive features such as synaptic competition and rate stabilization. Here we address the problem of robustness in the additive STDP rule. We derive an adaptive control scheme, where the learning function is under fast dynamic control by post(cid:173) synaptic activity to stabilize learning under a variety of conditions. Such a control scheme can be implemented using known biophysical mechanisms of synapses. We show that this adaptive rule makes the addit ive STDP more robust. Finally, we give an example how meta plasticity of the adaptive rule can be used to guide STDP into different type of learning regimes.