Skip to content


  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Computational modeling of heterosynaptic plasticity in the hippocampus

BMC Neuroscience201516 (Suppl 1) :P1

  • Published:


  • Animal Model
  • Computational Modeling
  • Granule Cell
  • Dentate Gyrus
  • Compartmental Model

Hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) are central synaptic mechanisms of learning and memory. Here we use compartmental models of hippocampal granule cells to better understand LTP and heterosynaptic LTD which have been reported in the dentate gyrus of awake rats [1]. Our simulations indicate that LTP and heterosynaptic LTD can be explained by a spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) rule combined with a fast Bienenstock-Cooper-Munro (BCM)-like metaplasticity rule [25]. We study the interaction between these plasticity rules and ongoing pre- and postsynaptic activity. Our models are able to account for the experimentally observed degree of LTP and heterosynaptic LTD induced by various plasticity-inducing protocols.



The work was supported by a Young Investigators Grant (from the faculty of medicine Goethe-University to P.J.) and by a BMBF grant (Germany-USA Collaboration in Computational Neuroscience to P.J., No. 01GQ1203A).

Authors’ Affiliations

Institute of Clinical Neuroanatomy, Neuroscience Center, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Department of Computer Science, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Department of Psychology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Brain Health Research Centre, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand


  1. Bowden JB, Abraham WC, Harris KM: Differential effects of strain, circadian cycle, and stimulation pattern on LTP and concurrent LTD in the dentate gyrus of freely moving rats. Hippocampus. 2012, 22 (6): 1363-1370.PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
  2. Abraham WC: Metaplasticity: tuning synapses and networks for plasticity. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2008, 9 (5): 387-PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
  3. Benuskova L, Abraham WC: STDP rule endowed with the BCM sliding threshold accounts for hippocampal heterosynaptic plasticity. J Comp Neurosci. 2007, 22 (2): 129-133.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  4. Abraham WC, Logan B, Wolff A, Benuskova L: "Heterosynaptic" LTD in the dentate gyrus of anesthetized rat requires homosynaptic activity. J Neurophysiol. 2007, 98 (2): 1048-1051.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
  5. Benuskova L, Jedlicka P: Computational modeling of long-term depression of synaptic weights: insights from STDP, metaplasticity and spontaneous activity. Neural Network World. 2012, 22 (2): 161-180.View ArticleGoogle Scholar


© Jedlicka et al. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.