Synaptic efficacy can increase (synaptic facilitation) or decrease (synaptic depression) markedly within milliseconds after the onset of specific temporal patterns of activity. Recent evidence suggests that short-term synaptic depression contributes to low-pass temporal filtering, and can account for a well-known paradox - many low-pass neurons respond vigorously to transients and the onsets of high temporal-frequency stimuli. The use of depression for low-pass filtering, however, is itself a paradox; depression induced by ongoing high-temporal frequency stimuli could preclude desired responses to low-temporal frequency information. This problem can be circumvented, however, by activation of short-term synaptic facilitation that maintains responses to low-temporal frequency information. Such short-term plasticity might also contribute to spatio-temporal processing.
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