Timescales of Plasticity and Underlying Mechanisms

Coordinators: József Fiser, Máté Lengyel, and Jennifer Raymond

A long-standing question in the neurobiology of learning is that of timescales. The brain can associate events that are separated by seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, or longer. Yet, the known biological mechanisms for inducing changes in the synaptic connections between neurons are driven by neural events that are separated by typically no more than a few tens or hundreds of milliseconds. This conference will convene scientists studying the molecular, cellular, and circuit-level mechanisms used by the brain to bridge the multiple timescales across which events play out in the experience of an individual. The goal will be to assemble an up-to-date understanding of the set of biological mechanisms available in the brain to support associative learning across different timescales. The conference's emphasis on biological mechanisms will complement and support the main program’s more computational focus, and encourage an integrated analysis of statistical learning spanning molecular, cellular, circuit, and behavioral-level phenomena.