Aseel Shomar

Mesoscopic descriptions of synaptic remodeling dynamics

Recent studies from several labs, including our own, reveal that synapses, in addition to directed changes, also change spontaneously in an apparently stochastic manner, even in the absence of specific activity patterns, or, for that matter, any activity at all. We have recently shown that such synaptic remodeling dynamics are captured remarkably well by a simple statistical model known as the Kesten process. The abstract nature of this statistical model, however, provides little insight on the fundamental biophysical processes that might give rise to these dynamics. This project thus aims to bridge the gap between the abstract macroscopic realm and the enormously complex molecular realm by identifying potential mesoscopic biophysical processes that can give rise to such dynamics.