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Nat Neurosci. 2017 May;20(5):727-734. doi: 10.1038/nn.4531. Epub 2017 Mar 20.

Cerebellar granule cells acquire a widespread predictive feedback signal during motor learning.

Author information

1
Princeton Neuroscience Institute and Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.
2
Center for Computational Biology, Flatiron Institute, Simons Foundation, New York, New York, USA.
3
Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
4
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA.
5
Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
6
Department of Neuroscience, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
7
School of Engineering, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.
8
Departments of Statistics and Neuroscience, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.
9
Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.

Abstract

Cerebellar granule cells, which constitute half the brain's neurons, supply Purkinje cells with contextual information necessary for motor learning, but how they encode this information is unknown. Here we show, using two-photon microscopy to track neural activity over multiple days of cerebellum-dependent eyeblink conditioning in mice, that granule cell populations acquire a dense representation of the anticipatory eyelid movement. Initially, granule cells responded to neutral visual and somatosensory stimuli as well as periorbital airpuffs used for training. As learning progressed, two-thirds of monitored granule cells acquired a conditional response whose timing matched or preceded the learned eyelid movements. Granule cell activity covaried trial by trial to form a redundant code. Many granule cells were also active during movements of nearby body structures. Thus, a predictive signal about the upcoming movement is widely available at the input stage of the cerebellar cortex, as required by forward models of cerebellar control.

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PMID:
28319608
PMCID:
PMC5704905
DOI:
10.1038/nn.4531
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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