Publications & Reports

Adaptation without plasticity.

Quiroga M., Morris AP, Krekelberg B


Sensory adaptation is a phenomenon in which neurons are affected not only by their immediate input but also by the sequence of preceding inputs. In visual cortex, for example, neurons shift their preferred orientation after exposure to an oriented stimulus. This adaptation is traditionally attributed to plasticity. We show that a recurrent network generates tuning curve shifts observed in cat and macaque visual cortex, even when all synaptic weights and intrinsic properties in the model are fixed. This demonstrates that, in a recurrent network, adaptation on timescales of hundreds of milliseconds does not require plasticity. Given the ubiquity of recurrent connections, this phenomenon likely contributes to responses observed across cortex and shows that plasticity cannot be inferred solely from changes in tuning on these timescales. More broadly, our findings show that recurrent connections can endow a network with a powerful mechanism to store and integrate recent contextual information.


  • Journal: Cell Reports
  • Published: 27/09/2016
  • Volume: 17
  • Issue: 1
  • Pagination: 58-68