Metabolic energy can be used as a unified principle to control neuronal activity. However, whether and how metabolic energy alone can determine the outcome of synaptic plasticity remains unclear. In this study, a computational model of synaptic plasticity that is completely determined by energy is proposed. A simple quantitative relationship between synaptic plasticity and postsynaptic potential energy is established. Synaptic weight is directly proportional to the difference between the baseline potential energy and the suprathreshold potential energy and is constrained by the maximum energy supply. Results show that the energy constraint improves the performance of synaptic plasticity and avoids setting the hard boundary of synaptic weights. With the same set of model parameters, our model can reproduce several classical experiments in homo and heterosynaptic plasticity. The proposed model can explain the interaction mechanism of Hebbian and homeostatic plasticity at the cellular level, thereby providing a new way to deeply understand the characteristics of learning and memory.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience