ERIC Number: EJ943965
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Neural Circuitry and Plasticity Mechanisms Underlying Delay Eyeblink Conditioning
Freeman, John H.; Steinmetz, Adam B.
Learning & Memory, v18 n10 p666-677 Oct 2011
Pavlovian eyeblink conditioning has been used extensively as a model system for examining the neural mechanisms underlying associative learning. Delay eyeblink conditioning depends on the intermediate cerebellum ipsilateral to the conditioned eye. Evidence favors a two-site plasticity model within the cerebellum with long-term depression of parallel fiber synapses on Purkinje cells and long-term potentiation of mossy fiber synapses on neurons in the anterior interpositus nucleus. Conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus inputs arise from the pontine nuclei and inferior olive, respectively, converging in the cerebellar cortex and deep nuclei. Projections from subcortical sensory nuclei to the pontine nuclei that are necessary for eyeblink conditioning are beginning to be identified, and recent studies indicate that there are dynamic interactions between sensory thalamic nuclei and the cerebellum during eyeblink conditioning. Cerebellar output is projected to the magnocellular red nucleus and then to the motor nuclei that generate the blink response(s). Tremendous progress has been made toward determining the neural mechanisms of delay eyeblink conditioning but there are still significant gaps in our understanding of the necessary neural circuitry and plasticity mechanisms underlying cerebellar learning.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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