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Front Syst Neurosci. 2014 Nov 4;8:205. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2014.00205. eCollection 2014.

How the cerebellum may monitor sensory information for spatial representation.

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Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR-S 8246/UM 119, Neuroscience Paris Seine, Cerebellum, Navigation and Memory Team Paris, France ; Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale 1130, Neuroscience Paris Seine, Cerebellum, Navigation and Memory Team Paris, France ; Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR 8246, Neuroscience Paris Seine, Cerebellum, Navigation and Memory Team Paris, France.


The cerebellum has already been shown to participate in the navigation function. We propose here that this structure is involved in maintaining a sense of direction and location during self-motion by monitoring sensory information and interacting with navigation circuits to update the mental representation of space. To better understand the processing performed by the cerebellum in the navigation function, we have reviewed: the anatomical pathways that convey self-motion information to the cerebellum; the computational algorithm(s) thought to be performed by the cerebellum from these multi-source inputs; the cerebellar outputs directed toward navigation circuits and the influence of self-motion information on space-modulated cells receiving cerebellar outputs. This review highlights that the cerebellum is adequately wired to combine the diversity of sensory signals to be monitored during self-motion and fuel the navigation circuits. The direct anatomical projections of the cerebellum toward the head-direction cell system and the parietal cortex make those structures possible relays of the cerebellum influence on the hippocampal spatial map. We describe computational models of the cerebellar function showing that the cerebellum can filter out the components of the sensory signals that are predictable, and provides a novelty output. We finally speculate that this novelty output is taken into account by the navigation structures, which implement an update over time of position and stabilize perception during navigation.


cerebellum; head direction cells; hippocampus; navigation; parietal cortex; place cells; self-motion; sensory processing

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