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A cerebellar learning model that reproduces the behavior of vestibulo-ocular reflex adaptation in wild-type and knock-out mice

Clopath, Claudia; Badura, A.; De Zeeuw, C. I.; Brunel, N.

The cerebellum is crucial for different types of motor learning. Established theories of cerebellar learning posit that the cerebellum learns by adjusting the weights of Parallel Fiber (PF) to Purkinje cells (PC) synapses, thanks to teaching signals provided by Climbing Fiber inputs. While these theories are consistent with a large body of experimental data, in particular on synaptic plasticity in PF to PC synapses, they cannot easily explain a growing body of experimental work, which seems to indicate a significant role of other sites of plasticity. Recent advances in the development of a large number in transgenic animals, as well as behavioral and electrophysiogical comparative studies between these animals and wild-type animals, have opened an unprecedented window into the mechanisms underlying learning in this structure. In particular, it has been shown that specific knock-outs are impaired selectively on difficult variants of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) adaptation task, one of the most studied cerebellar-dependent motor learning tasks. These impairments can occur even though the classical plasticity mechanisms are left untouched. These data pose significant new challenges for established models of cerebellar learning.

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Also Published In

Title
BMC Neuroscience
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2202-14-S1-O4

More About This Work

Academic Units
Neuroscience
Publisher
BioMed Central
Published Here
September 9, 2014
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