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Dendrites$
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Greg Stuart, Nelson Spruston, and Michael Häusser

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198566564

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198566564.001.0001

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Functional plasticity at dendritic synapses

Functional plasticity at dendritic synapses

Chapter:
(p.465) Chapter 18 Functional plasticity at dendritic synapses
Source:
Dendrites
Author(s):

Zachary F. Mainen

Larry F. Abbott

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198566564.003.0018

Most synapses are made onto dendrites, and most excitatory connections are made onto dendritic spines. Synaptic plasticity is thus an intrinsically dendritic phenomenon, but the functional significance of the structural, electrical, and molecular properties of dendrites for synaptic plasticity is still very poorly understood. Do dendrites have a computational or cell biological role in the modification of synaptic strength that is more than circumstantial? This chapter aims to summarize experimental data and theoretical considerations that may be relevant to the role of dendrites in synaptic plasticity. The focus is on associative Hebbian synaptic plasticity, including spike-timing-dependent forms, mediated by NMDA receptor activation.

Keywords:   dendritic spines, synaptic plasticity, NMDA receptor activation, dendritic synapses, functional plasticity, synaptic strength

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