Learning-Induced Plasticity in Deep Cerebellar Nucleus

T. Ohyama, W. L. Nores, J. F. Medina, F. A. Riusech, M. D. Mauk
2006 Journal of Neuroscience  
Evidence that cerebellar learning involves more than one site of plasticity comes from, in part, pavlovian eyelid conditioning, where disconnecting the cerebellar cortex abolishes one component of learning, response timing, but spares the expression of abnormally timed short-latency responses (SLRs). Here, we provide evidence that SLRs unmasked by cerebellar cortex lesions are mediated by an associative form of learning-induced plasticity in the anterior interpositus nucleus (AIN) of the
more » ... lum. We used pharmacological inactivation and/or electrical microstimulation of various sites afferent and efferent to the AIN to systematically eliminate alternative candidate sites of plasticity upstream or downstream from this structure. Collectively, the results suggest that cerebellar learning is mediated in part by plasticity in target nuclei downstream of the cerebellar cortex. These data demonstrate an instance in which an aspect of associative learning, SLRs, can be used as an index of plasticity at a specific site in the brain.
doi:10.1523/jneurosci.4023-06.2006 pmid:17151268 fatcat:3k6goosn4baiveducwwe2n42ye