A subcortical circuit linking the cerebellum to the basal ganglia engaged in vocal learning

  1. Ludivine Pidoux  Is a corresponding author
  2. Pascale Le Blanc
  3. Carole Levenes
  4. Arthur Leblois
  1. Paris Descartes University, Institute for Neuroscience and Cognition, France

Abstract

Speech is a complex sensorimotor skill, and vocal learning involves both the basal ganglia and the cerebellum. These subcortical structures interact indirectly through their respective loops with thalamo-cortical and brainstem networks, and directly via subcortical pathways, but the role of their interaction during sensorimotor learning remains undetermined. While songbirds and their song-dedicated basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical circuitry offer an unique opportunity to study subcortical circuits involved in vocal learning, the cerebellar contribution to avian song learning remains unknown. We demonstrate that the cerebellum provides a strong input to the song-related basal ganglia nucleus in zebra finches. Cerebellar signals are transmitted to the basal ganglia via a disynaptic connection through the thalamus and then conveyed to their cortical target and to the premotor nucleus controlling song production. Finally, cerebellar lesions impair juvenile song learning, opening new opportunities to investigate how subcortical interactions between the cerebellum and basal ganglia contribute to sensorimotor learning.

Data availability

All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Ludivine Pidoux

    CNRS, UMR 8119, Paris Descartes University, Institute for Neuroscience and Cognition, Paris, France
    For correspondence
    ludivine.pidoux@gmail.com
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-5268-4067
  2. Pascale Le Blanc

    CNRS, UMR 8119, Paris Descartes University, Institute for Neuroscience and Cognition, Paris, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Carole Levenes

    CNRS, UMR 8119, Paris Descartes University, Institute for Neuroscience and Cognition, Paris, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Arthur Leblois

    CNRS, UMR 8119, Paris Descartes University, Institute for Neuroscience and Cognition, Paris, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Funding

Agence Nationale de la Recherche

  • Arthur Leblois

City of Paris, Emergence Program

  • Arthur Leblois

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: Animal care and experiments were carried out in accordance with the European directives (2010-63-UE) and the French guidelines (project 02260.01, Ministère de l'Agriculture et de la Forêt). Experiments were approved by Paris Descartes University ethics committee (Permit Number: 13-092).

Reviewing Editor

  1. Jennifer L Raymond, Stanford School of Medicine, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: September 20, 2017
  2. Accepted: July 24, 2018
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: July 25, 2018 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: August 28, 2018 (version 2)
  5. Version of Record updated: October 9, 2019 (version 3)

Copyright

© 2018, Pidoux et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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  1. Ludivine Pidoux
  2. Pascale Le Blanc
  3. Carole Levenes
  4. Arthur Leblois
(2018)
A subcortical circuit linking the cerebellum to the basal ganglia engaged in vocal learning
eLife 7:e32167.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.32167

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