Distributed cerebellar motor learning: A spike-timing-dependent plasticity model

Niceto R. Luque, Jesús A.Garrido, Francisco Naveros, Richard R. Carrillo, Egidio D’Angelo, Eduardo Ros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Deep cerebellar nuclei neurons receive both inhibitory (GABAergic) synaptic currents from Purkinje cells (within the cerebellar cortex) and excitatory (glutamatergic) synaptic currents from mossy fibers. Those two deep cerebellar nucleus inputs are thought to be also adaptive, embedding interesting properties in the framework of accurate movements. We show that distributed spike-timing-dependent plasticity mechanisms (STDP) located at different cerebellar sites (parallel fibers to Purkinje cells, mossy fibers to deep cerebellar nucleus cells, and Purkinje cells to deep cerebellar nucleus cells) in close-loop simulations provide an explanation for the complex learning properties of the cerebellum in motor learning. Concretely, we propose a new mechanistic cerebellar spiking model. In this new model, deep cerebellar nuclei embed a dual functionality: Deep cerebellar nuclei acting as a gain adaptation mechanism and as a facilitator for the slow memory consolidation at mossy fibers to deep cerebellar nucleus synapses. Equipping the cerebellum with excitatory (e-STDP) and inhibitory (i-STDP) mechanisms at deep cerebellar nuclei afferents allows the accommodation of synaptic memories that were formed at parallel fibers to Purkinje cells synapses and then transferred to mossy fibers to deep cerebellar nucleus synapses. These adaptive mechanisms also contribute to modulate the deep-cerebellar-nucleus-output firing rate (output gain modulation toward optimizing its working range).

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalFrontiers in Computational Neuroscience
Issue numberMAR
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2 2016


  • Cerebellar modeling
  • Cerebellar motor control
  • Cerebellar nuclei
  • Motor learning consolidation
  • Spike-timing-dependent plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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