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Synaptic Physiology Methods: Experimental Stimuli

During a single experiment, a stereotyped set of stimuli were delivered to recorded cells to characterize the strength, kinetics, and short-term plasticity of synaptic connections. Each stimulus was delivered to cells in turn while recording the response from all other cells. Each stimulus train consisted of eight pulses to induce short-term plasticity (induction) followed by a delay and four pulses to measure recovery from dynamic effects. The frequency of pulses and delay were varied to measure these effects on synaptic connections. There was a 15 second delay between each stimulus to allow the cells to fully recover from stimulation. The instrinsic properties of recorded cells were also evaluted (data coming soon). 


Stimulus Frequencies

A variety of stimulus frequencies were used, each with a 250 ms delay between the eight induction pulses and four recovery pulses.


Recovery Delays

For the 50 Hz stimulus, a range of recovery delays were interposed between the eight induction pulses and four recovery pulses to evaluate the timecourse of recovery from short-term effects.


Stimulus Trials

Each stimulus, one frequency with one delay, was repeated at least five times with a 15 second rest period between repeated trials. Spikes were recorded in the presynaptic cell along with postsynaptic responses.