Memory trace and timing mechanism localized to cerebellar Purkinje cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The standard view of the mechanisms underlying learning is that they involve strengthening or weakening synaptic connections. Learned response timing is thought to combine such plasticity with temporally patterned inputs to the neuron. We show here that a cerebellar Purkinje cell in a ferret can learn to respond to a specific input with a temporal pattern of activity consisting of temporally specific increases and decreases in firing over hundreds of milliseconds without a temporally patterned input. Training Purkinje cells with direct stimulation of immediate afferents, the parallel fibers, and pharmacological blocking of interneurons shows that the timing mechanism is intrinsic to the cell itself. Purkinje cells can learn to respond not only with increased or decreased firing but also with an adaptively timed activity pattern.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Basic Medicine
  • Neurosciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14930-14934
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch

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