January 17, 2021

Complex spike firing adapts to saliency of inputsand engages readiness to act

The cerebellum is involved in cognition next to motor coordination. During complex tasks, climbing fiber input to the cerebellum can deliver seemingly opposite signals, covering both motor and non-motor functions. To elucidate this ambiguity, we hypothesized that climbing fiber activity represents the saliency of inputs leading to action-readiness. We addressed this hypothesis by recording Purkinje cell activity in lateral cerebellum of awake mice learning go/no-go decisions based on entrained saliency of different sensory stimuli. As training progressed, the timing of climbing fiber signals switched in a coordinated fashion with that of Purkinje cell simple spikes towards the moment of occurrence of the salient stimulus that required action. Trial-by-trial analysis indicated that emerging climbing fiber activity is not linked to individual motor responses or rewards per se, but rather reflects the saliency of a particular sensory stimulus that engages a general readiness to act, bridging the non-motor with the motor functions.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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