The influence of somatosensory cortex on climbing fiber responses in the lateral hemispheres of the rat cerebellum after peripheral tactile stimulation

Ian E. Brown, James M. Bower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

This report describes the temporal relationship between the latency of responses to peripheral stimulation in primary somatosensory (SI) cerebral cortex and the timing of climbing fiber inputs to the lateral hemispheres of the rat cerebellum. Examined in the tactilely responsive regions of crus IIa in the rat, the results show that SI influences the timing of both evoked and spontaneous climbing fiber activity in these cerebellar regions without affecting the rate or probability of complex spike discharge. By reversibly blocking SI activity, we demonstrate that the absence of cortical input results in a lengthening of climbing fiber response latency to peripheral stimuli. Similarly, enhancing the cortical input by subthreshold electrical stimulation of SI results in a shortening of climbing fiber response latency. These results provide a new explanation for the tendency of the inferior olive to oscillate at 7-12 Hz and is consistent with the hypothesis that the inferior olive provides the cerebellum information about the timing of cortical computational cycles. Results are discussed in the context of previous and current hypotheses concerning the physiology and function of the inferior olive/climbing fiber system and are interpreted to provide additional evidence of a role for the cerebellum in the tactile somatosensory system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6819-6829
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume22
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2002

Keywords

  • Cerebellar cortex
  • Complex spike
  • Inferior olive
  • Purkinje cell
  • Somatosensory
  • Timing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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