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A Spiking Working Memory Model Based on Hebbian Short-Term Potentiation
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Numerical Analysis and Computer Science (NADA). Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
Number of Authors: 2
2017 (English)In: Journal of Neuroscience, ISSN 0270-6474, E-ISSN 1529-2401, Vol. 37, no 1, 83-96 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A dominant theory of working memory (WM), referred to as the persistent activity hypothesis, holds that recurrently connected neural networks, presumably located in the prefrontal cortex, encode and maintain WM memory items through sustained elevated activity. Reexamination of experimental data has shown that prefrontal cortex activity in single units during delay periods is much more variable than predicted by such a theory and associated computational models. Alternative models of WM maintenance based on synaptic plasticity, such as short-term nonassociative (non-Hebbian) synaptic facilitation, have been suggested but cannot account for encoding of novel associations. Here we test the hypothesis that a recently identified fast-expressing form of Hebbian synaptic plasticity (associative short-term potentiation) is a possible mechanism for WM encoding and maintenance. Our simulations using a spiking neural network model of cortex reproduce a range of cognitive memory effects in the classical multi-item WM task of encoding and immediate free recall of word lists. Memory reactivation in the model occurs in discrete oscillatory bursts rather than as sustained activity. We relate dynamic network activity as well as key synaptic characteristics to electrophysiological measurements. Our findings support the hypothesis that fast Hebbian short-term potentiation is a key WM mechanism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 37, no 1, 83-96 p.
Keyword [en]
Hebbian plasticity, primacy, recency, short-term potentiation, word list learning, working memory
National Category
Bioinformatics (Computational Biology) Neurosciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-139368DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1989-16.2017ISI: 000391143500008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-139368DiVA: diva2:1072692
Available from: 2017-02-08 Created: 2017-02-06 Last updated: 2017-02-08Bibliographically approved

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Lansner, Anders
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CiteExportLink to record
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