Spike timing plasticity (STDP) is a special form of synaptic plasticity where the relative timing of post-and presynaptic activity determines the change of the synaptic weight. On the postsynaptic side, active backpropagating spikesin dendrites seem to play a crucial role in the induction of spike timing dependent plasticity. We argue that postsynaptically the temporal change of the membrane potential determines the weight change. Coming from the presynaptic side induction of STDP is closely related to the activation of NMDA channels. Therefore, we will calculate analytically the change of the synaptic weight by correlating the derivative ofthe membrane potential with the activity of the NMDA channel.
How can we build agents that keep learning from experience, quickly and efficiently, after their initial training? Here we take inspiration from the main mechanism of learning in biological brains: synaptic plasticity, carefully tuned by evolution to produce efficient lifelong learning. We show that plasticity, just like connection weights, can be optimized by gradient descent in large (millions of parameters) recurrent networks with Hebbian plastic connections. First, recurrent plastic networks with more than two million parameters can be trained to memorize and reconstruct sets of novel, high-dimensional 1000+ pixels natural images not seen during training. Crucially, traditional non-plastic recurrent networks fail to solve this task. Furthermore, trained plastic networks can also solve generic meta-learning tasks such as the Omniglot task, with competitive results and little parameter overhead. Finally, in reinforcement learning settings, plastic networks outperform a non-plastic equivalent in a maze exploration task. We conclude that differentiable plasticity may provide a powerful novel approach to the learning-to-learn problem.
Synaptic plasticity is widely accepted to be the mechanism behind learning in the brain's neural networks. A central question is how synapses, with access to only local information about the network, can still organize collectively and perform circuit-wide learning in an efficient manner. In single-layered and all-to-all connected neural networks, local plasticity has been shown to implement gradient-based learning on a class of cost functions that contain a term that aligns the similarity of outputs to the similarity of inputs. Whether such cost functions exist for networks with other architectures is not known. In this paper, we introduce structured and deep similarity matching cost functions, and show how they can be optimized in a gradient-based manner by neural networks with local learning rules.
This paper explores the computational consequences of simultaneous intrinsic andsynaptic plasticity in individual model neurons. It proposes a new intrinsic plasticity mechanism for a continuous activation model neuron based on low order moments of the neuron's firing rate distribution. Thegoal of the intrinsic plasticity mechanism is to enforce a sparse distribution of the neuron's activity level. In conjunction with Hebbian learning at the neuron's synapses, the neuron is shown to discover sparse directions in the input.
Hebbian theory is a neuroscientific theory claiming that an increase in synaptic efficacy arises from a presynaptic cell's repeated and persistent stimulation of a postsynaptic cell. It is an attempt to explain synaptic plasticity, the adaptation of brain neurons during the learning process. It was introduced by Donald Hebb in his 1949 book The Organization of Behavior. The theory is also called Hebb's rule, Hebb's postulate, and cell assembly theory. Let us assume that the persistence or repetition of a reverberatory activity (or "trace") tends to induce lasting cellular changes that add to its stability.