synaptic_element - Contact point element for the dynamic creation  
and deletion of synapses.
This class represents synaptic element of a node (like Axonl boutons or
dendritic spines) used for structural plasticity.
The synaptic elements represent connection points between two neurons. They
grow according to a homeostatic growth rule. The dynamics of the
number of synaptic elements is driven by the average electrical activity of
the neuron (indirectly measured through the Calcium concentration of the
node). The probability of two neurons creating a new synapse between them,
depends on the number of available synaptic elements of each neuron.

z double - Current number of synaptic elements. Stored as a
double variable but the actual usable number of
synaptic elements is an integer truncated from
double value. An standard value for the growth of
synaptic element is around 0.0001 elements/ms.
continuous boolean - Defines if the number of synaptic elements should
be treated as a continuous double number or as an
integer value. Default is false.
growth_rate double - The maximum amount by which the synaptic elements
change between time steps. In elements/ms.
tau_vacant double - Rate at which vacant synaptic elements will decay.
Typical is 0.1 which represents a
loss of 10% of the vacant synaptic elements each
the structural_plasticity_update_interval is
reached by the simulation time.
growth_curve GrowthCurve* - Rule which defines the dynamics of this
synaptic element.

[1] Butz, Markus, Florentin Wörgötter, and Arjen van Ooyen.
"Activity-dependent structural plasticity." Brain research reviews 60.2
(2009): 287-305.

[2] Butz, Markus, and Arjen van Ooyen. "A simple rule for dendritic spine
and axonal bouton formation can account for cortical reorganization after
focal retinal lesions." PLoS Comput Biol 9.10 (2013): e1003259.

Mikael Naveau, Sandra Diaz  
July 2013  
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