Biological Cybernetics

, 101:427 | Cite as

Emergence of network structure due to spike-timing-dependent plasticity in recurrent neuronal networks IV

Structuring synaptic pathways among recurrent connections
  • Matthieu GilsonEmail author
  • Anthony N. Burkitt
  • David B. Grayden
  • Doreen A. Thomas
  • J. Leo van Hemmen
Original Paper


In neuronal networks, the changes of synaptic strength (or weight) performed by spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) are hypothesized to give rise to functional network structure. This article investigates how this phenomenon occurs for the excitatory recurrent connections of a network with fixed input weights that is stimulated by external spike trains. We develop a theoretical framework based on the Poisson neuron model to analyze the interplay between the neuronal activity (firing rates and the spike-time correlations) and the learning dynamics, when the network is stimulated by correlated pools of homogeneous Poisson spike trains. STDP can lead to both a stabilization of all the neuron firing rates (homeostatic equilibrium) and a robust weight specialization. The pattern of specialization for the recurrent weights is determined by a relationship between the input firing-rate and correlation structures, the network topology, the STDP parameters and the synaptic response properties. We find conditions for feed-forward pathways or areas with strengthened self-feedback to emerge in an initially homogeneous recurrent network.


Learning STDP Recurrent neuronal network Spike-time correlation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthieu Gilson
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Anthony N. Burkitt
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • David B. Grayden
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Doreen A. Thomas
    • 1
    • 3
  • J. Leo van Hemmen
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Electronic EngineeringThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.The Bionic Ear InstituteEast MelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.NICTA, Victoria Research LabUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Physik Department (T35) and BCCN–MunichTechnische Universität MünchenGarching bei MünchenGermany

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