How the cerebellum helps us predict the future… and prepare for it!

Summary

Date: 
April 3, 2018 - 12:00pm
Location: 
Northwest Building, Room B103
About the Speaker
Name: 
Javier Medina
Speaker Title: 
Associate Professor
Speaker Affiliation: 
Baylor College of Medicine

Supervised learning plays a key role in current theories about cerebellar function. In these theories, the cerebellum receives error-related information about its own performance, and uses it to gradually adjust the activity of specific neural populations until the final response of the system matches a predefined desired outcome. In my talk, I will present unpublished data that reveals an obligatory relationship between the source of error-related signals and what the cerebellum learns during an eyeblink conditioning task in mice. The experiments demonstrate that learning causes idiosyncratic changes in the activity of Purkinje cells and their downstream target neurons in the deep cerebellar nuclei, and that these changes not only provide the rest of the brain with a prediction about future events, but also serve to control motor synergies and take anticipatory action.