bims-climfi Biomed News
on Cerebellar cortical circuitry
Issue of 2019‒09‒15
two papers selected by
Jun Maruta
Mount Sinai Health System


  1. Elife. 2019 Sep 11. pii: e46764. [Epub ahead of print]8
    Heffley W, Hull C.
      Classical models of cerebellar learning posit that climbing fibers operate according to a supervised learning rule to instruct changes in motor output by signaling the occurrence of movement errors. However, cerebellar output is also associated with non-motor behaviors, and recently with modulating reward association pathways in the VTA. To test how the cerebellum processes reward related signals in the same type of classical conditioning behavior typically studied to evaluate reward processing in the VTA and striatum, we have used calcium imaging to visualize instructional signals carried by climbing fibers across the lateral cerebellum in mice before and after learning. We find distinct climbing fiber responses in three lateral cerebellar regions that can each signal reward prediction. These instructional signals are well suited to guide cerebellar learning based on reward expectation and enable a cerebellar contribution to reward driven behaviors, suggesting a broad role for the lateral cerebellum in reward-based learning.
    Keywords:  mouse; neuroscience
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.46764
  2. Front Neural Circuits. 2019 ;13 54
    Solouki S, Bahrami F, Janahmadi M.
      High-fidelity regulation of information transmission among cerebellar layers is mainly provided by synaptic plasticity. Therefore, determining the regulatory foundations of synaptic plasticity in the cerebellum and translating them to behavioral output are of great importance. To date, many experimental studies have been carried out in order to clarify the effect of synaptic defects, while targeting a specific signaling pathway in the cerebellar function. However, the contradictory results of these studies at the behavioral level further add to the ambiguity of the problem. Information transmission through firing rate changes in populations of interconnected neurons is one of the most widely accepted principles of neural coding. In this study, while considering the efficacy of synaptic interactions among the cerebellar layers, we propose a firing rate model to realize the concept of transmission coefficient. Thereafter, using a computational approach, we test the effect of different values of transmission coefficient on the gain adaptation of a cerebellar-dependent motor learning task. In conformity with the behavioral data, the proposed model can accurately predict that disruption in different forms of synaptic plasticity does not have the same effect on motor learning. Specifically, impairment in training mechanisms, like in the train-induced LTD in parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses, has a significant negative impact on all aspects of learning, including memory formation, transfer, and consolidation, although it does not disrupt basic motor performance. In this regard, the overinduction of parallel fiber-molecular layer interneuron LTP could not prevent motor learning impairment, despite its vital role in preserving the robustness of basic motor performance. In contrast, impairment in plasticity induced by interneurons and background activity of climbing fibers is partly compensable through overinduction of train-induced parallel fiber-Purkinje cell LTD. Additionally, blockade of climbing fiber signaling to the cerebellar cortex, referred to as olivary system lesion, shows the most destructive effect on both motor learning and basic motor performance. Overall, the obtained results from the proposed computational framework are used to provide a map from procedural motor memory formation in the cerebellum. Certainly, the generalization of this concept to other multi-layered networks of the brain requires more physiological and computational researches.
    Keywords:  cerebellar motor learning; multi-layer neural network; optokinetic reflex; synaptic plasticity; transmission coefficient
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fncir.2019.00054