Learned movements elicited by direct stimulation of cerebellar mossy fiber afferents

Neuron. 1999 Sep;24(1):179-85. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)80831-4.


Definitive evidence is presented that the conditioned stimulus (CS) in classical conditioning reaches the cerebellum via the mossy fiber system. Decerebrate ferrets received paired forelimb and periocular stimulation until they responded with blinks to the forelimb stimulus. When direct mossy fiber stimulation was then given, the animals responded with conditioned blinks immediately, that is, without ever having been trained to the mossy fiber stimulation. Antidromic activation was prevented by blocking mossy fibers with lignocaine ventral to the stimulation site. It could be excluded that cerebellar output functioned as the CS. Analysis of latencies suggests that conditioned responses (CRs) are not generated by mossy fiber collaterals to the deep nuclei. Hence, the memory trace is probably located in the cerebellar cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electromyography
  • Eyelids / innervation
  • Ferrets
  • Forelimb / innervation
  • Movement*
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology*