Cerebellar Signatures of Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex Motor Learning

Pablo M. Blazquez, Yutaka Hirata, Shane A. Heiney, Andrea M. Green, Stephen M. Highstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations

Abstract

The vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) comprises an outstanding system to perform studies that probe possible cerebellar roles in motor learning. Novel VOR gains can be induced (learned) by the wearing of minifying or magnifying lenses, and learning requires the presence of the cerebellum. Previously, it was shown that Purkinje cells change their head velocity sensitivities with learning and that this change was thought to be inappropriate to be causal for the changed behavior. We now demonstrate that Purkinje cells also change their eye position, eye velocity, and head velocity sensitivities after learning. These combined changes at the Purkinje cell level contribute to a net modulation that is appropriate to support the new VOR gains. Importantly, the changes in the eye position parameter, reported for the first time, suggest the involvement of the neuronal integrator pathways in VOR learning. We provide evidence that all of these changes are necessary for VOR behavior and can explain learning deficits after cerebellar removal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9742-9751
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume23
Issue number30
StatePublished - Oct 29 2003

Keywords

  • Cerebellum
  • Learning
  • Primate
  • Purkinje cell
  • VOR

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    Blazquez, P. M., Hirata, Y., Heiney, S. A., Green, A. M., & Highstein, S. M. (2003). Cerebellar Signatures of Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex Motor Learning. Journal of Neuroscience, 23(30), 9742-9751.