Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

2015 Edition
| Editors: Dieter Jaeger, Ranu Jung

Synaptic Dynamics: Overview

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6675-8_225


Synaptic dynamics describes the time-dependent changes in synaptic currents that alter the strength of coupling between neurons. Various mechanisms, both pre- and postsynaptic, contribute to ongoing changes of synaptic currents and modulate the overall network activity. These mechanisms operate on various time scales (milliseconds to years) and can lead to immediate changes in neuronal activity, ongoing adaptation of neuronal responses to changing inputs, and long-term learning and memory.

Detailed Description

Connections between neurons form network circuitry, and these connections are not static, but change in amplitude and timing. When a spike reaches a presynaptic terminal, processes are initiated that result in release of neurotransmitters that diffuse across the synaptic cleft to reach the postsynaptic receptors. Changes in these release dynamics can lead to short-term or lasting changes in the amount and timing of transmitter released. In addition, surrounding cells...

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Further Reading

  1. Dayan P, Abbott LF, Abbott L (2001) Theoretical neuroscience: computational and mathematical modeling of neural systems. Taylor & Francis, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA