Linking cortical plasticity and activity changes following monocular deprivation in model networks of visual cortical circuits

Leonidas Richter and Julijana Gjorgjieva (Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Technical University of Munich, Germany)

Monocular deprivation is a perturbation of visual experience frequently used in experiments to study the mechanisms of experience-dependent plasticity in neural circuits during development. We investigate the effects of synaptic plasticity induced by monocular deprivation on the activity in sparse random networks of spiking neurons with either a single or two subtypes of inhibitory interneurons. We find that the regime in which the circuit operates, either stabilized by inhibition or stable without it, determines how the activity is shaped by these synaptic changes. In the network with two subtypes of interneurons, the interaction of the two classes profoundly shapes activity following the same synaptic changes in either regime, where sufficient inhibitory feedback from somatostatin-positive cells reverses the response of parvalbumin-positive interneurons. Therefore, our theoretical framework helps us understand the implications of multiple interneuron subtypes on activity-dependent plasticity in recurrent networks.