Short-term synaptic plasticity orchestrates the response of pyramical cells and interneurons to population bursts

M.J.E. Richardson, O. Melamed, G. Silberberg, W. Gerstner and H. Markram

J. Computational Neuroscience, to appear (2005)

The synaptic drive from neuronal populations varies considerably over short time scales. Such changes in the presynaptic rate trigger many temporal processes absent under steady-state conditions. This paper examines the differential impact of pyramidal cell population bursts on postsynaptic pyramidal cells receiving depressing synapses, and on a class of interneuron that receives facilitating synapses. In experiments a significant shift of the order of of one hundred milliseconds is seen between the response of these two cell classes to the same population burst. It is demonstrated here that such a temporal differentiation of the response can be explained by the synaptic and membranme properties without recourse to elaborate cortical wiring schemes.