In the past decade, Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity (STDP) has received great attention. In part, this is no doubt due to the surprisingly sharp transition between long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD) due to changes in pre and postsynaptic temporal differences of only a few milliseconds. But the STDP paradigm has also simplified experiments and clarified interpretation, since it has provided us with results obtained under highly controlled conditions -- factors such as timing, rate, depolarization, synaptic location, etc can be known with quite high precision. Because of this, STDP has shed light on the role of e.g. individual action potentials, dendrites, and the presynaptic terminal in the induction and expression of plasticity.
In this talk, I will discuss synaptic plasticity in neocortical layer-5 neurons. I will overview some of the non-linearities of this form of STDP as well as some of the mechanisms that underpin plasticity at these synapses. I will also discuss the dependence of synaptic plasticity on synapse location in the dendritic arbor and the impact that this location dependence has on the induction of STDP at distal synaptic inputs.