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Title: Storage of spatiotemporal input sequences in dendrites of pyramidal neurons
Author: Macak, M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 7109
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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Plastic changes in neurons are widely considered to underpin the formation and maintenance of memory. The mechanisms of induction and expression of plasticity are, therefore, crucial to our understanding of the capacity of information storage that neurons possess. Using two-photon glutamate uncaging and whole-cell electrophysiological recordings, I demonstrate that dendrites of neurons are capable of preferentially storing specific spatiotemporal sequences, and describe the physiological properties of this new form of plasticity. Such plastic changes are dependent on Ca2+ influx through NMDA receptors, which is consistent with previous reports regarding induction of potentiation. Using two-photon Ca2+ imaging, I demonstrate that spatiotemporal plasticity is a result of a distinct homogeneous spatial increase in Ca2+ influx of different spatiotemporal sequences. Using the NEURON simulation environment, I used my experimental findings to perform simulations of synaptic plasticity rules. I found that homogeneous increases in synaptic strength across the dendrite can result in the spatiotemporal plasticity that I empirically observed. Moreover, I employed a genetic optimization algorithm and parallelized simulations to show that such changes are within physiological parameters observed in cortical neurons. My PhD therefore describes a novel form of plasticity, and proposes that dendrites are capable of more extensive information storage than was previously assumed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available