Self-organization using synaptic plasticity

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 21 (NIPS 2008)

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Vicençc Gómez, Andreas Kaltenbrunner, Vicente López, Hilbert Kappen


Large networks of spiking neurons show abrupt changes in their collective dynamics resembling phase transitions studied in statistical physics. An example of this phenomenon is the transition from irregular, noise-driven dynamics to regular, self-sustained behavior observed in networks of integrate-and-fire neurons as the interaction strength between the neurons increases. In this work we show how a network of spiking neurons is able to self-organize towards a critical state for which the range of possible inter-spike-intervals (dynamic range) is maximized. Self-organization occurs via synaptic dynamics that we analytically derive. The resulting plasticity rule is defined locally so that global homeostasis near the critical state is achieved by local regulation of individual synapses.