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Berlin 2015 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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BP: Fachverband Biologische Physik

BP 8: Neurophysics II

BP 8.5: Vortrag

Montag, 16. März 2015, 15:30–15:45, H 1058

Synaptic unreliability facilitates information transmission in balanced cortical populations — •Leon A. Gatys1, Alexander S. Ecker1, Tatjana Tchumatchenko2, and Matthias Bethge11Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Institute for Theoretical Physics, Tuebingen, Germany — 2Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt, Germany

Synaptic unreliability is one of the major sources of biophysical noise in the brain. In the context of neural information processing, it is a central question how neural systems can afford this unreliability. Here we examined how synaptic noise affects signal transmission in cortical circuits, where excitation and inhibition are thought to be tightly balanced. Surprisingly, we found that in this balanced state synaptic response variability actually facilitates information transmission, rather than impairing it. In particular, the transmission of fast-varying signals benefits from synaptic noise, as it instantaneously increases the amount of information shared between presynaptic signal and postsynaptic current. This finding provides a parsimonious explanation why cortex can afford to operate with noisy synapses.

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