Studies of activity-dependent plasticity have been (and still are) dominated by investigations of Hebbian mechanisms. We have adopted a different conceptual framework for our studies of activity-dependent plasticity. Our interests reside in types of plasticity, which are more inline with homeostatic models.
In general, compensation-based or homeostatic plasticity is evoked when neurons or networks undergo chronic changes in levels of activity. It is thought neuronal elements operate within some set-point or optimal level of activity.
Homeostatic plasticity can act to drive a neuron’s activity levels back towards the optimum level if persistent changes in activity occur.
We investigate hippocampal synapses as one model to explore homeostatic mechanisms.
Conceptual Model of Homeostatic Plasticity & Synaptic Scaling
Reference: W.J. Tyler et al., 2007. Experience-dependent modification of primary sensory synapses in the mammalian olfactory bulb. Journal of Neuroscience 27, 9427-9438. PDF