Article

Purkinje Cells in Posterior Cerebellar Vermis Encode Motion in an Inertial Reference Frame

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
Neuron (Impact Factor: 15.05). 07/2007; 54(6):973-85. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2007.06.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

The ability to orient and navigate through the terrestrial environment represents a computational challenge common to all vertebrates. It arises because motion sensors in the inner ear, the otolith organs, and the semicircular canals transduce self-motion in an egocentric reference frame. As a result, vestibular afferent information reaching the brain is inappropriate for coding our own motion and orientation relative to the outside world. Here we show that cerebellar cortical neuron activity in vermal lobules 9 and 10 reflects the critical computations of transforming head-centered vestibular afferent information into earth-referenced self-motion and spatial orientation signals. Unlike vestibular and deep cerebellar nuclei neurons, where a mixture of responses was observed, Purkinje cells represent a homogeneous population that encodes inertial motion. They carry the earth-horizontal component of a spatially transformed and temporally integrated rotation signal from the semicircular canals, which is critical for computing head attitude, thus isolating inertial linear accelerations during navigation.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Pablo M Blazquez
  • Source
    • "Spatial navigation involves a combination of internal cues such as proprioceptive and vestibular input, as well as external cues such as landmarks (Dumont and Taube, 2015). The cerebellum receives input from the vestibular nucleus (Hitier et al., 2014) and is believed to play a crucial role in encoding inertial motion and transforming self-motion vestibular information from an egocentric headcentered reference into allocentric Earth-referenced spatial orientation (Yakusheva et al., 2007; Angelaki et al., 2010). Transgenic mice with impaired cerebellar function have deficits in goal-directed spatial trajectories (Burguière et al., 2005), retention of spatial memory (Hilber et al., 1998), and tasks requiring use of self-motion information (Rochefort et al., 2011). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is a growing recognition that the utility of the cerebellum is not limited to motor control. This review focuses on the particularly novel area of hippocampal-cerebellar interactions. Recent work has illustrated that the hippocampus and cerebellum are functionally connected in a bidirectional manner such that the cerebellum can influence hippocampal activity and vice versa. This functional connectivity has important implications for physiology, including spatial navigation and timing-dependent tasks, as well as pathophysiology, including seizures. Moving forward, an improved understanding of the critical biological underpinnings of these cognitive collaborations may improve interventions for neurological disorders such as epilepsy.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
    • "It therefore crucially monitors sensory information for updating mental representation of space (Rondi-Reig et al., 2014; Lefort et al., 2015). The cerebellum normally uses otolith and semicircular canal signals to convert vestibular head centered into earth-referenced self-motion and spatial orientation signals (Yakusheva et al., 2007). During locomotion-dependent real navigation self-motion information can be used for building and updating spatial representation. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Spatial orientation and navigation depends on information from the vestibular system. Previous work suggested impaired spatial navigation in patients with bilateral vestibular failure (BVF). The aim of this study was to investigate event-related brain activity (fMRI) during spatial navigation and visual memory tasks in BVF patients. Twenty-three BVF patients and healthy age-and gender matched control subjects performed learning sessions of spatial navigation by watching short films taking them through various streets from a driver's perspective along a route to the Cathedral of Cologne using virtual reality videos (adopted and modified from Google Earth(®)). In the MRI scanner, participants were asked to respond to questions testing for visual memory or spatial navigation while they viewed short video clips. From a similar but not identical perspective depicted video frames of routes were displayed which they had previously seen or which were completely novel to them. Compared with controls, posterior cerebellar activity in BVF patients was higher during spatial navigation than during visual memory tasks, in the absence of performance differences. This cerebellar activity correlated with disease duration. Cerebellar activity during spatial navigation in BVF patients may reflect increased non-vestibular efforts to counteract the development of spatial navigation deficits in BVF. Conceivably, cerebellar activity indicates a change in navigational strategy of BVF patients, i.e. from a more allocentric, landmark or place -based strategy (hippocampus) to a more sequence-based strategy. This interpretation would be in accord with recent evidence for a cerebellar role in sequence-based navigation. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Neuroscience
  • Source
    • "Using transgenic L7PKCI mice, which selectively lack protein kinase C-dependent plasticity at parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses in the cerebellum, Rochefort et al. (2011) examined hippocampal place cells during navigation. Purkinje cells are thought to transform vestibular head-orientation information into Earth-reference spatial orientation and self-motion information (Yakusheva et al., 2007). Although the L7PKCI mice had significantly fewer place cells compared with wild-type littermates, place fields were largely unaffected during normal conditions when both idiothetic and landmark information were available . "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Navigation is a complex cognitive process that is vital for survival. The rodent hippocampus has long been implicated in spatial memory and navigation. Following the discovery of place cells, found in the hippocampus, a variety of other spatially tuned neural correlates of navigation have been found in a widely distributed network that is both anatomically and functionally interconnected with the hippocampus. Angular head velocity, head direction, and grid cells are among some of the additional spatial neural correlates. The importance of these different cells and how they function interdependently to subserve navigation is reviewed below. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Progress in brain research
Show more