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TIMING AND CAUSALITY IN THE GENERATION OF LEARNED EYELID RESPONSES

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2011-08-30
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Frontiers Media
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The cerebellum-red nucleus-facial motoneuron (Mn) pathway has been reported as being involved in the proper timing of classically conditioned eyelid responses. This special type of associative learning serves as a model of event timing for studying the role of the cerebellum in dynamic motor control. Here, we have re-analyzed the firing activities of cerebellar posterior interpositus (IP) neurons and orbicularis oculi (OO) Mns in alert behaving cats during classical eyeblink conditioning, using a delay paradigm. The aim was to revisit the hypothesis that the IP neurons can be considered a neuronal phase-modulating device supporting OO Mns firing with an emergent timing mechanism and an explicit correlation code during learned eyelid movements. Optimized experimental and computational tools allowed us to determine the different causal relationships (temporal order and correlation code) during and between trials. These intra- and inter-trial timing strategies expanding from sub-second range (millisecond timing) to longer-lasting ranges (interval timing) expanded the functional domain of cerebellar timing beyond motor control. Interestingly, the results supported the above-mentioned hypothesis. The causal inferences were influenced by the precise motor and premotor spike-timing in the cause-effect interval, and, in addition, the timing of the learned responses depended on cerebellar-Mn network causality. Furthermore, the timing of CRs depended upon the probability of simulated causal conditions in the cause-effect interval and not the mere duration of the inter-stimulus interval. In this work, the close relation between timing and causality was verified. It could thus be concluded that the firing activities of IP neurons may be related more to the proper performance of ongoing CRs (i.e., the proper timing as a consequence of the pertinent causality) than to their generation and/or initiation. *Raudel Sánchez-Campusano. Corresponding Author. Email: rsancam@upo.es
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MICINN-BFU2008-0899
BIO122/P07-CVI-2487
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Nuestros estudios previos han demostrado que la vía cerebelo/núcleo-rojo/motoneurona está involucrada en la modulación de la respuesta motoras aprendida pero siempre después de iniciado el movimiento. En este artículo se demuestra, por primera vez, que el cerebelo está cronometrando la adquisición de la respuesta palpebral condicionada, y para ello se ha recurrido al análisis de los patrones de dispersión tiempo-intensidad mediante el uso de estadística circular para acoplar las asociaciones dinámicas entre el orden temporal de los eventos y la intensidad de los códigos de correlación entre los comandos neuronales y las respuestas motoras. Las estrategias de cronometraje dentro y entre ensayos abarcando desde el rango de subsegundos (cronometraje de milisegundos) hasta rangos de mayor duración (cronometraje de intervalos) expandieron el dominio funcional del cronometraje cerebeloso más allá del control motor, y esto es un aspecto novedoso e interesante nunca antes abordado en relación a la contribución del cerebelo.
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Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, vol 5, 39, p. 1-28
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