We provide behavioral evidence using monkey smooth pursuit eye movements for four principles of cerebellar learning. Using a circuit-level model of the cerebellum, we link behavioral data to learning's neural implementation. The four principles are: (1) early, fast, acquisition driven by climbing fiber inputs to the cerebellar cortex, with poor retention; (2) learned responses of Purkinje cells guide transfer of learning from the cerebellar cortex to the deep cerebellar nucleus, with excellent retention; (3) functionally different neural signals are subject to learning in the cerebellar cortex versus the deep cerebellar nuclei; and (4) negative feedback from the cerebellum to the inferior olive reduces the magnitude of the teaching signal in climbing fibers and limits learning. Our circuit-level model, based on these four principles, explains behavioral data obtained by strategically manipulating the signals responsible for acquisition and recall of direction learning in smooth pursuit eye movements across multiple timescales.
The data for each figure is included in a Figure Composer FYP file and can be viewed, exported, and further analyzed using the freely available Figure Composer tool (https://sites.google.com/a/srscicomp.com/datanav/figure-composer). This tool is platform agnostic and runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. The source code used to generate the cerebellar model results (Figure 10) is included as a Jupyter notebook. This source code makes use of Julia but can be viewed without installing Julia.
- Stephen G Lisberger
- Nathan J Hall
- David J Herzfeld
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All experimental procedures were performed in accordance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (1997) and had been approved in advance by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at Duke University (Protocol A085-18-04).
- Jennifer L Raymond, Stanford University School of Medicine, United States
© 2020, Herzfeld 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.
Mathys et al. conducted the first single-nucleus RNA-seq (snRNA-seq) study of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (Mathys et al., 2019). With bulk RNA-seq, changes in gene expression across cell types can be lost, potentially masking the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) across different cell types. Through the use of single-cell techniques, the authors benefitted from increased resolution with the potential to uncover cell type-specific DEGs in AD for the first time. However, there were limitations in both their data processing and quality control and their differential expression analysis. Here, we correct these issues and use best-practice approaches to snRNA-seq differential expression, resulting in 549 times fewer DEGs at a false discovery rate of 0.05. Thus, this study highlights the impact of quality control and differential analysis methods on the discovery of disease-associated genes and aims to refocus the AD research field away from spuriously identified genes.
The strength of a fear memory significantly influences whether it drives adaptive or maladaptive behavior in the future. Yet, how mild and strong fear memories differ in underlying biology is not well understood. We hypothesized that this distinction may not be exclusively the result of changes within specific brain regions, but rather the outcome of collective changes in connectivity across multiple regions within the neural network. To test this, rats were fear conditioned in protocols of varying intensities to generate mild or strong memories. Neuronal activation driven by recall was measured using c-fos immunohistochemistry in 12 brain regions implicated in fear learning and memory. The interregional coordinated brain activity was computed and graph-based functional networks were generated to compare how mild and strong fear memories differ at the systems level. Our results show that mild fear recall is supported by a well-connected brain network with small-world properties in which the amygdala is well-positioned to be modulated by other regions. In contrast, this connectivity is disrupted in strong fear memories and the amygdala is isolated from other regions. These findings indicate that the neural systems underlying mild and strong fear memories differ, with implications for understanding and treating disorders of fear dysregulation.