Beyond Pair-Based STDP: a Phenomenological Rule for Spike Triplet and Frequency Effects

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 18 (NIPS 2005)

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Jean-pascal Pfister, Wulfram Gerstner


While classical experiments on spike-timing dependent plasticity analyzed synaptic changes as a function of the timing of pairs of pre- and postsynaptic spikes, more recent experiments also point to the effect of spike triplets. Here we develop a mathematical framework that allows us to characterize timing based learning rules. Moreover, we identify a candidate learning rule with five variables (and 5 free parameters) that captures a variety of experimental data, including the dependence of potentiation and depression upon pre- and postsynaptic firing frequencies. The relation to the Bienenstock-Cooper-Munro rule as well as to some timing-based rules is discussed.