Spike Timing-Dependent Plasticity has been found to assume many different forms. The classic STDP curve, with one potentiating and one depressing window, is only one of many possible curves that describe synaptic learning using the STDP mechanism. It has been shown experimentally that STDP curves may contain multiple LTP and LTD windows of variable width, and even inverted windows. The underlying STDPmechanism that is capable of producing such an extensive, and apparently incompatible, range of learning curves is still under investigation. In this paper, it is shown that STDP originates from a combination of two dynamic Hebbian cross-correlations of local activity at the synapse. The correlation of the presynaptic activity with the local postsynaptic activity is a robust and reliable indicator of the discrepancy between the presynaptic neuron and the postsynaptic neuron’s activity. The second correlation is between the local postsynaptic activity with dendritic activity which is a good indicator of matching local synaptic and dendritic activity.We show that this simple time-independent learning rule can give rise to many forms of the STDP learning curve. The rule regulates synaptic strength without the need for spike matching or other supervisory learning mechanisms. Local differences in dendritic activity at the synapse greatly affect the cross-correlation difference which determines the relative contributions of different neural activity sources. Dendritic activity due to nearby synapses, action potentials, both forward and back-propagating, as well as inhibitory synapses will dynamically modify the local activity at the synapse, and the resulting STDP learning rule. The dynamic Hebbian learning rule ensures furthermore, that the resulting synaptic strength is dynamically stable, and that interactions between synapses do not result in local instabilities. The rule clearly demonstrates that synapses function as independent localized computational entities, each contributing to the global activity, not in a simply linear fashion, but in a manner that is appropriate to achieve local and global stability of the neuron and the entire dendritic structure.
Olde Scheper, T. V., Meredith, R. M., Mansvelder, H. D., Van Pelt, J., & van Ooyen, A. (2018). Dynamic hebbian cross-correlation learning resolves the spike timing dependent plasticity conundrum. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fncom.2017.00119