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Behav Neurosci. 2003 Dec;117(6):1211-9.

Cerebellar neuronal activity expresses the complex topography of conditioned eyeblink responses.

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Neuroscience and Behavior Program, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA.


Pavlovian eyeblink conditioning is a useful model system for studying how the temporal relationship between a conditioned stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus is represented in the brain. As an example, the response topography formed under a complex conditioning paradigm, involving 2 randomly alternating interstimulus intervals (ISIs), manifests a conditioned response (CR) with 2 distinctive peaks that correspond to the 2 ISIs. The authors present the first full report of neuronal activities in the cerebellar interpositus nucleus of rabbits performing bimodal responses. All CR-related activities exhibited firing patterns that highly correlated with and preceded eyeblink responses. The striking similarity between the time course of bimodal CRs and neuronal responses indicates that neuronal activities in the cerebellum are causally related to the production of behavioral CRs.

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