The spatial coincidence of somatosensory cerebral cortex (SI) and trigeminal projections to the cerebellar hemisphere has been previously demonstrated. In this paper we describe the temporal relationship between tactilely-evoked responses in SI and in the granule cell layer of the cerebellar hemisphere, in anesthetized rats. We simultaneously recorded field potentials in areas of common receptive fields of SI and of the cerebellar folium crus IIa after peripheral tactile stimulation of the corresponding facial area. Response of the cerebellar granule cell layer to a brief tactile stimulation consisted of two components at different latencies. We found a strong correlation between the latency of the SI response and that of the second (long-latency) cerebellar component following facial stimulation. No such relationship was found between the latency of the SI response and that of the first (short-latency) cerebellar component, originating from a direct trigeminocerebellar pathway. In addition, lidocaine pressure injection in SI, cortical ablation, and decerebration all significantly affected the second cerebellar peak but not the first. Further, when tactile stimuli were presented 75 ms apart, the response in SI failed, as did the second cerebellar peak, while the short-latency cerebellar response still occurred. We found a wide spatial distribution of the upper lip response beyond the upper lip area in crus IIa for the long-latency component of the cerebellar response. Our results demonstrate that SI is the primary contributor to the cerebellar long-latency response to peripheral tactile stimulation. These results are discussed in the context of Purkinje cell responses to tactile input.
- Crus IIa
- Field potential
- Mossy fiber
- Somatosensory cerebral cortex
ASJC Scopus subject areas