Anisotropic representation of forelimb position in the cerebellar cortex and nucleus interpositus of the rat

Antonino Casabona, Maria Stella Valle, Gianfranco Bosco, Angelo Garifoli, Salvatore A. Lombardo, Vincenzo Perciavalle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The relationship between the spatial location of limb and the activity of cerebellar neurons has received little attention and its nature still remains ambiguous. To address this question we studied the activity of Purkinje and nucleus interpositus cells in relation to the spatial location of rat forelimb. A computer-controlled robot arm displaced the limb passively across 15 positions distributed on a parasagittal plane. The limb was upheld for 8 s in each position, which was identified by the Cartesian coordinates of the forepaw. We selected the neurons whose activities were significantly modulated by forepaw position and found that the majority represented preferentially one spatial dimension of the Cartesian plane both in the cerebellar cortex and nucleus interpositus. In particular, the antero-posterior axis was best represented in cerebellar neuronal discharges. This result suggests that the intermediate part of the cerebellum might encode limb position by way of an anisotropic representation of the spatial coordinates of the limb end-point.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-136
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
Volume972
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 16 2003

Keywords

  • Electrophysiology
  • Forelimb position
  • Intermediate cerebellum
  • Proprioception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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