The timing of external input controls the sign of plasticity at local synapses.


The method by which local networks in the brain store information from extrinsic afferent inputs is not well understood. We found that the timing of afferent input can bidirectionally control the sign of spike timing-dependent plasticity at local synapses in rat hippocampus. This mechanism provides a means by which temporal information in external input can be encoded in the local matrix of synaptic weights.