Emergence of connectivity motifs in a toy model network.
Unidirectional (reciprocal) strong excitatory connections are indicated (A) as dashed (continuous) line segments, representing the topology of the network (B). Each model neuron receives periodic spatially alternating depolarizing current pulses, strong enough to make it fire a single action potential. Synapses among connected neurons display (C) short-term facilitation of postsynaptic potential amplitudes. Spike-Timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP) leads to strengthened connections and results in a largely reciprocal topology (D). Modifying the short-term plasticity profile into depressing (F) leads to a largely unidirectional topology shaped by STDP(G). Distinct motifs of strong connections arise from short- and long-term plasticities, due to distinct firing patterns (compare E and H), under identical external stimulation and initial connections. Parameters: pA, and Methods.