Firing rate homeostasis counteracts changes in stability of recurrent neural networks caused by synapse loss in Alzheimer's disease.
Claudia Bachmann | Tom Tetzlaff | Renato Duarte | Abigail Morrison
The impairment of cognitive function in Alzheimer's disease is clearly correlated to synapse loss. However, the mechanisms underlying this correlation are only poorly understood. Here, we investigate how the loss of excitatory synapses in sparsely connected random networks of spiking excitatory and inhibitory neurons alters their dynamical characteristics. Beyond the effects on the activity statistics, we find that the loss of excitatory synapses on excitatory neurons reduces the network's sensitivity to small perturbations. This decrease in sensitivity can be considered as an indication of a reduction of computational capacity. A full recovery of the network's dynamical characteristics and sensitivity can be achieved by firing rate homeostasis, here implemented by an up-scaling of the remaining excitatory-excitatory synapses. Mean-field analysis reveals that the stability of the linearised network dynamics is, in good approximation, uniquely determined by the firing rate, and thereby explains why firing rate homeostasis preserves not only the firing rate but also the network's sensitivity to small perturbations.Show more [+] Less [-]