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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Anatomy and physiology of neurons supporting the cerebellar circuit

  • Author(s): Champion, Kristine Elizabeth
  • et al.

The cerebellum is essential for performing accurate, smooth and coordinated movements in an ever-changing environment. While the cerebellum has been studied for well over one hundred years, many questions remain regarding how the underlying circuitry supports overall cerebellar function. To address questions related to anatomy and intrinsic excitability, a combination of neuronal tracing techniques and intrinsic electrophysiological recordings are used to study cerebellar circuit neurons. Experiments reveal that despite conveying different sensory, motor and cortical signals, precerebellar neurons in diverse precerebellar nuclei share most intrinsic excitability characteristics. In addition, neurons in the vestibular complex, a region well-connected with the cerebellum, have specializations in the conversion of current into firing rate related to their neurotransmitter content and specific anatomical projections. Finally, experiments reveal specific neurons participating in a cerebellar feedback loop connecting the nucleus prepositus hypoglossi to the inferior olive

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