A computational study of synaptic mechanisms of partial memory transfer in cerebellar vestibulo-ocular-reflex learning

Naoki Masuda*, Shun Ichi Amari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is a debate regarding whether motor memory is stored in the cerebellar cortex, or the cerebellar nuclei, or both. Memory may be acquired in the cortex and then be transferred to the cerebellar nuclei. Based on a dynamical system modeling with a minimal set of variables, we theoretically investigated possible mechanisms of memory transfer and consolidation in the context of vestibulo-ocular reflex learning. We tested different plasticity rules for synapses in the cerebellar nuclei and took robustness of behavior against parameter variation as the criterion of plausibility of a model variant. In the most plausible scenarios, mossy-fiber nucleus-neuron synapses or Purkinje-cell nucleus-neuron synapses are plastic on a slow time scale and store permanent memory, whose content is passed from the cerebellar cortex storing transient memory. In these scenarios, synaptic strengths are potentiated when the mossy-fiber afferents to the nuclei are active during a pause in Purkinje-cell activities. Furthermore, assuming that mossy fibers create a limited variety of signals compared to parallel fibers, our model shows partial memory transfer from the cortex to the nuclei.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-156
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Computational Neuroscience
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Apr
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cerebellum
  • Motor learning
  • Synaptic plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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