Synaptic plasticity in human cortical circuits: cellular mechanisms of learning and memory in the human brain?

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Abstract

Synaptic plasticity is the cellular basis of learning and memory, but to what extent this holds for the adult human brain is not known. To study synaptic plasticity in human neuronal circuits poses a huge challenge, since live human neurons and synapses are not readily accessible. Despite this, various lines of research have provided insights in properties of adult human synapses and their plasticity both in vitro and in vivo, with some unexpected surprises. We first discuss the experimental approaches to study activity-dependent plasticity of adult human synapses, and then highlight rules and mechanisms of Hebbian spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) found in these synapses. Finally, we conclude with thoughts on how these synaptic principles can underlie human learning and memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-193
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Volume54
Early online date13 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

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Neuronal Plasticity
Learning
Synapses
Brain
Neurons
Research

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title = "Synaptic plasticity in human cortical circuits: cellular mechanisms of learning and memory in the human brain?",
abstract = "Synaptic plasticity is the cellular basis of learning and memory, but to what extent this holds for the adult human brain is not known. To study synaptic plasticity in human neuronal circuits poses a huge challenge, since live human neurons and synapses are not readily accessible. Despite this, various lines of research have provided insights in properties of adult human synapses and their plasticity both in vitro and in vivo, with some unexpected surprises. We first discuss the experimental approaches to study activity-dependent plasticity of adult human synapses, and then highlight rules and mechanisms of Hebbian spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) found in these synapses. Finally, we conclude with thoughts on how these synaptic principles can underlie human learning and memory.",
author = "Mansvelder, {Huibert D.} and Verhoog, {Matthijs B.} and Goriounova, {Natalia A.}",
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AU - Mansvelder, Huibert D.

AU - Verhoog, Matthijs B.

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AB - Synaptic plasticity is the cellular basis of learning and memory, but to what extent this holds for the adult human brain is not known. To study synaptic plasticity in human neuronal circuits poses a huge challenge, since live human neurons and synapses are not readily accessible. Despite this, various lines of research have provided insights in properties of adult human synapses and their plasticity both in vitro and in vivo, with some unexpected surprises. We first discuss the experimental approaches to study activity-dependent plasticity of adult human synapses, and then highlight rules and mechanisms of Hebbian spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) found in these synapses. Finally, we conclude with thoughts on how these synaptic principles can underlie human learning and memory.

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