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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Oct 14;111(41):14930-4. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1415371111. Epub 2014 Sep 29.

Memory trace and timing mechanism localized to cerebellar Purkinje cells.

Author information

  • 1Associative Learning Group, Department of Experimental Medical Science, Lund University, S-221 84 Lund, Sweden; The Linnaeus Center Thinking in Time: Cognition, Communication and Learning, Lund University, S-222 00 Lund, Sweden; and fredrik.johansson@med.lu.se.
  • 2Associative Learning Group, Department of Experimental Medical Science, Lund University, S-221 84 Lund, Sweden; The Linnaeus Center Thinking in Time: Cognition, Communication and Learning, Lund University, S-222 00 Lund, Sweden; and.
  • 3Laboratory for Synthetic Perceptive, Emotive, and Cognitive Systems, Department of Information and Communications Technologies, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 08018 Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

The standard view of the mechanisms underlying learning is that they involve strengthening or weakening synaptic connections. Learned response timing is thought to combine such plasticity with temporally patterned inputs to the neuron. We show here that a cerebellar Purkinje cell in a ferret can learn to respond to a specific input with a temporal pattern of activity consisting of temporally specific increases and decreases in firing over hundreds of milliseconds without a temporally patterned input. Training Purkinje cells with direct stimulation of immediate afferents, the parallel fibers, and pharmacological blocking of interneurons shows that the timing mechanism is intrinsic to the cell itself. Purkinje cells can learn to respond not only with increased or decreased firing but also with an adaptively timed activity pattern.

KEYWORDS:

cerebellum; eyeblink conditioning; glutamate transmission; temporal control

PMID:
25267641
PMCID:
PMC4205653
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1415371111
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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