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Neuron. 2008 Jun 12;58(5):775-88. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2008.05.008.

High-frequency organization and synchrony of activity in the purkinje cell layer of the cerebellum.

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Laboratoire de Neurobiologie, UMR 8544, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 46 rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris, France.


The cerebellum controls complex, coordinated, and rapid movements, a function requiring precise timing abilities. However, the network mechanisms that underlie the temporal organization of activity in the cerebellum are largely unexplored, because in vivo recordings have usually targeted single units. Here, we use tetrode and multisite recordings to demonstrate that Purkinje cell activity is synchronized by a high-frequency (approximately 200 Hz) population oscillation. We combine pharmacological experiments and modeling to show how the recurrent inhibitory connections between Purkinje cells are sufficient to generate these oscillations. A key feature of these oscillations is a fixed population frequency that is independent of the firing rates of the individual cells. Convergence in the deep cerebellar nuclei of Purkinje cell activity, synchronized by these oscillations, likely organizes temporally the cerebellar output.

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