How Memory Conforms to Brain Development
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Brain developingBrain structure and functionSynaptic pruningStorage capacityDynamic memories
Millán AP, Torres JJ and Marro J (2019) How Memory Conforms to Brain Development. Front. Comput. Neurosci. 13:22. [doi: 10.3389/fncom.2019.00022]
SponsorshipFinancial support from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Agencia Española de Investigación (AEI) under grant FIS2017-84256-P (FEDER funds) and from the Obra Social La Caixa (ID 100010434, with code LCF/BQ/ES15/10360004). This study has been also partially financed by the Consejería de Conocimiento, Investigación y Universidad, Junta de Andalucía and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with reference SOMM17/6105/UGR.
Nature exhibits countless examples of adaptive networks, whose topology evolves constantly coupled with the activity due to its function. The brain is an illustrative example of a system in which a dynamic complex network develops by the generation and pruning of synaptic contacts between neurons while memories are acquired and consolidated. Here, we consider a recently proposed brain developing model to study how mechanisms responsible for the evolution of brain structure affect and are affected by memory storage processes. Following recent experimental observations, we assume that the basic rules for adding and removing synapses depend on local synaptic currents at the respective neurons in addition to global mechanisms depending on the mean connectivity. In this way a feedback loop between “form” and “function” spontaneously emerges that influences the ability of the system to optimally store and retrieve sensory information in patterns of brain activity or memories. In particular, we report here that, as a consequence of such a feedback-loop, oscillations in the activity of the system among the memorized patterns can occur, depending on parameters, reminding mind dynamical processes. Such oscillations have their origin in the destabilization of memory attractors due to the pruning dynamics, which induces a kind of structural disorder or noise in the system at a long-term scale. This constantly modifies the synaptic disorder induced by the interference among the many patterns of activity memorized in the system. Such new intriguing oscillatory behavior is to be associated only to long-term synaptic mechanisms during the network evolution dynamics, and it does not depend on short-term synaptic processes, as assumed in other studies, that are not present in our model.