The diverse functions of short-term plasticity components in synaptic computations

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Short-term plasticity (STP) comprises several rapid synaptic processes that operate on millisecond-to-minute timescales and modulate synaptic efficacy in an activity-dependent manner. Facilitation and augmentation are two major STP components in central synapses that work to enhance synaptic strength, while various forms of short-term depression work to decrease it. These multiple components of STP interact to perform a variety of synaptic computations. Using a modeling approach in excitatory hippocampal synapses, we recently described the contributions of individual STP components to synaptic operations. In this mini-review, we summarize the recent findings that revealed a wide palette of functions that STP components play in neural operations and discuss their roles in information processing, working memory and decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-548
Number of pages6
JournalCommunicative and Integrative Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2011


  • Augmentation
  • Decision making
  • Depression
  • Facilitation
  • Information processing
  • Short-term plasticity
  • Synaptic filtering
  • Working memory


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