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J Neurosci. 2013 Aug 14;33(33):13436-40. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1527-13.2013.

Number of spikes in climbing fibers determines the direction of cerebellar learning.

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Associative Learning Group, Department of Experimental Medical Science, Lund University, 22184 Lund, Sweden.


Cerebellar learning requires context information from mossy fibers and a teaching signal through the climbing fibers from the inferior olive. Although the inferior olive fires in bursts, virtually all studies have used a teaching signal consisting of a single pulse. Following a number of failed attempts to induce cerebellar learning in decerebrate ferrets with a nonburst signal, we tested the effect of varying the number of pulses in the climbing fiber teaching signal. The results show that training with a single pulse in a conditioning paradigm in vivo does not result in learning, but rather causes extinction of a previously learned response.

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