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Stars and Stripes in the Cerebellar Cortex: A Voltage Sensitive Dye Study

By Dan Rokni, Rodolfo Llinas and Yosef Yarom


The lattice-like structure of the cerebellar cortex and its anatomical organization in two perpendicular axes provided the foundations for many theories of cerebellar function. However, the functional organization does not always match the anatomical organization. Thus direct measurement of the functional organization is central to our understanding of cerebellar processing. Here we use voltage sensitive dye imaging in the isolated cerebellar preparation to characterize the spatio-temporal organization of the climbing and mossy fiber (MF) inputs to the cerebellar cortex. Spatial and temporal parameters were used to develop reliable criteria to distinguish climbing fiber (CF) responses from MF responses. CF activation excited postsynaptic neurons along a parasagittal cortical band. These responses were composed of slow (∼25 ms), monophasic depolarizing signals. Neither the duration nor the spatial distribution of CF responses were affected by inhibition. Activation of MF generated responses that were organized in radial patches, and were composed of a fast (∼5 ms) depolarizing phase followed by a prolonged (∼100 ms) negative wave. Application of a GABAA blocker eliminated the hyperpolarizing phase and prolonged the depolarizing phase, but did not affect the spatial distribution of the response, thus suggesting that it is not the inhibitory system that is responsible for the inability of the MF input to generate beams of activity that propagate along the parallel fiber system

Topics: Neuroscience
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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