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Monday, July 20 • 9:00pm - 10:00pm
P141: A synthetic likelihood solution to the silent synapse estimation problem

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Link to Google Meet: meet.google.com/cmg-tqgn-wht

Authors: Michael Lynn, Kevin Lee, Cary Soares, Richard Naud, Jean-Claude Beique

Abstract: Functional features of populations of synapses are typically inferred from random electrophysiological sampling of small subsets of synapses. Are these samples unbiased? Here, we developed a biophysically constrained statistical framework for addressing this question and applied it to assess the performance of a widely used method based on a failure-rate analysis to quantify the occurrence of silent (AMPAR- lacking) synapses in neural networks. We simulated this method in silico and found that it is characterized by strong and systematic biases, poor reliability and weak statistical power. Key conclusions were validated by whole-cell recordings from hippocampal neurons. To address these shortcomings, we developed a simulator of the experimental protocol and used it to compute a synthetic likelihood. By maximizing the likelihood, we inferred silent synapse fraction with no bias, low variance and superior statistical power over alternatives. Together, this generalizable approach highlights how a simulator of experimental methodologies can substantially improve the estimation of physiological properties.

avatar for Michael Lynn

Michael Lynn

PhD Student, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa
I am a PhD student working with Dr. Jean-Claude Béïque at the University of Ottawa. I am currently interested in the physiology and coding heterogeneity present in the dorsal raphe nucleus, and am investigating this using tools ranging from single-cell patch clamp physiology to... Read More →

Monday July 20, 2020 9:00pm - 10:00pm CEST
Slot 08