Concurrence of form and function in developing networks and its role in synaptic pruning
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A.P. Millan, J. J. Torres, S. Johnson and J. Marro, Concurrence of form and function in developing networks and its role in synaptic pruning’ , Nature Comm. 9, Article number: 2236 (2018) [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/51958]
PatrocinadorWe are grateful for financial support from the Spanish MINECO (project of Excellence: FIS2017-84256-P) and from “Obra Social La Caixa”.
A fundamental question in neuroscience is how structure and function of neural systems are related. We study this interplay by combining a familiar auto-associative neural network with an evolving mechanism for the birth and death of synapses. A feedback loop then arises leading to two qualitatively different types of behaviour. In one, the network structure becomes heterogeneous and dissasortative, and the system displays good memory performance; furthermore, the structure is optimised for the particular memory patterns stored during the process. In the other, the structure remains homogeneous and incapable of pattern retrieval. These findings provide an inspiring picture of brain structure and dynamics that is compatible with experimental results on early brain development, and may help to explain synaptic pruning. Other evolving networks—such as those of protein interactions—might share the basic ingredients for this feedback loop and other questions, and indeed many of their structural features are as predicted by our model.