Synaptic rewiring for topographic mapping and receptive field development

Simeon Bamford, Alan Murray, D. J. Willshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A model of topographic map refinement is presented which combines both weight plasticity and the formation and elimination of synapses, as well as both activity-dependent and activity-independent processes. The question of whether an activity-dependent process can refine a mapping created by an activity-independent process is addressed statistically. A new method of evaluating the quality of topographic projections is presented which allows independent consideration of the development of the centres and spatial variances of receptive fields for a projection. Synapse formation and elimination embed in the network topology changes in the weight distributions of synapses due to the activity-dependent learning rule used (spike-timing-dependent plasticity). In this model, the spatial variance of receptive fields can be reduced by an activity-dependent mechanism with or without spatially correlated inputs, but the accuracy of receptive field centres will not necessarily improve when synapses are formed based on distributions with on-average perfect topography.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-527
Number of pages11
JournalNeural Networks
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • Synapse formation
  • Synapse elimination
  • Synaptic rewiring
  • Synaptic plasticity
  • Spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP)
  • Activity dependent
  • Activity independent
  • Integrate-and-fire
  • Receptive field
  • Topographic map
  • Mapping
  • Map development
  • Ocular dominance
  • Topographic refinement


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