Transmission across neocortical synapses depends on the frequency of presynaptic activity (Thomson & Deuchars, 1994). Interpyramidal synapses in layer V exhibit fast depression of synaptic transmission, while other types of synapses exhibit facilitation of transmission. To study the role of dynamic synapses in network computation, we propose a unified phenomenological model that allows computation of the postsynaptic current generated by both types of synapses when driven by an arbitrary pattern of action potential (AP) activity in a presynaptic population. Using this formalism, we analyze different regimes of synaptic transmission and demonstrate that dynamic synapses transmit different aspects of the presynaptic activity depending on the average presynaptic frequency. The model also allows for derivation of mean-field equations, which govern the activity of large, interconnected networks. We show that the dynamics of synaptic transmission results in complex sets of regular and irregular regimes of network activity.

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