Throughout life, neural circuits change their connectivity, especially during development, when neurons frequently extend and retract dendrites and axons, and form and eliminate synapses. In spite of their changing connectivity, neural circuits maintain relatively constant activity levels. Neural circuits achieve functional stability by homeostatic plasticity, which equipoises intrinsic excitability and synaptic strength, balances network excitation and inhibition, and coordinates changes in circuit connectivity. Here, we review how diverse mechanisms of homeostatic plasticity stabilize activity in developing neural circuits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalNeural Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Excitation/inhibition ratio
  • Homeostatic plasticity
  • Intrinsic excitability
  • Neural development
  • Patterned spontaneous activity
  • Synaptic strength


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