Rhythmic activity has been observed in numerous animal species ranging from insects to humans, and in relation to a wide range of cognitive tasks. Various experimental and theoretical studies have investigated rhythmic activity. The theoretical efforts have mainly been focused on the neuronal dynamics, under the assumption that network connectivity satisfies certain fine-tuning conditions required to generate oscillations. However, it remains unclear how this fine-tuning is achieved. Here we investigated the hypothesis that spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) can provide the underlying mechanism for tuning synaptic connectivity to generate rhythmic activity. We addressed this question in a modeling study. We examined STDP dynamics in the framework of a network of excitatory and inhibitory neuronal populations that has been suggested to underlie the generation of oscillations in the gamma range. Mean-field Fokker-Planck equations for the synaptic weight dynamics are derived in the limit of slow learning. We drew on this approximation to determine which types of STDP rules drive the system to exhibit rhythmic activity, and we demonstrate how the parameters that characterize the plasticity rule govern the rhythmic activity. Finally, we propose a mechanism that can ensure the robustness of self-developing processes in general, and for rhythmogenesis in particular.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability