High bandwidth synaptic communication and frequency tracking in human neocortex
Neuronal firing, synaptic transmission, and its plasticity form the building blocks for processing and storage of information in the brain. It is unknown whether adult human synapses are more efficient in transferring information between neurons than rodent synapses. To test this, we recorded from connected pairs of pyramidal neurons in acute brain slices of adult human and mouse temporal cortex and probed the dynamical properties of use-dependent plasticity. We found that human synaptic connections were purely depressing and that they recovered three to four times more swiftly from depression than synapses in rodent neocortex. Thereby, during realistic spike trains, the temporal resolution of synaptic information exchange in human synapses substantially surpasses that in mice. Using information theory, we calculate that information transfer between human pyramidal neurons exceeds that of mouse pyramidal neurons by four to nine times, well into the beta and gamma frequency range. In addition, we found that human principal cells tracked fine temporal features, conveyed in received synaptic inputs, at a wider bandwidth than for rodents. Action potential firing probability was reliably phase-locked to input transients up to 1,000 cycles/s because of a steep onset of action potentials in human pyramidal neurons during spike trains, unlike in rodent neurons. Our data show that, in contrast to the widely held views of limited information transfer in rodent depressing synapses, fast recovering synapses of human neurons can actually transfer substantial amounts of information during spike trains. In addition, human pyramidal neurons are equipped to encode high synaptic information content. Thus, adult human cortical microcircuits relay information at a wider bandwidth than rodent microcircuits.
Source (journal)
PLoS biology. - San Francisco, Calif.
San Francisco, Calif. : 2014
1545-7885 [Online]
1544-9173 [print]
12:11(2014), 13 p.
Article Reference
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Research group
SYNSYS: Synaptic Systems: dissecting brain function in health and disease
Human Brain Project Framework Partnership Agreement (HBP FPA SGA1).
Neuroelectronics and nanotechnology: towards a multidisciplinary approach for the science and engineering of neuronal networks (NAMASEN).
A quantum leap: from a spike-centered brrain universe to its underlying synaptic landscape (BRAINLEAP).
Imaging neural activity at the cellular- and network-levels by optically detected diamond spin-magnetometers and nanoparticle FRET sensors.
Mechanisms of brain wiring in normal and pathological conditions (WIBRAIN).
Publication type
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Creation 01.12.2014
Last edited 24.08.2017
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