Cerebellar function in consolidation of a motor memory

Neuron. 2002 Jun 13;34(6):1011-20. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(02)00719-5.


Several forms of motor learning, including classical conditioning of the eyeblink and nictitating membrane response (NMR), are dependent upon the cerebellum, but it is not known how motor memories are stored within the cerebellar circuitry. Localized infusions of the GABA(A) agonist muscimol were used to target putative consolidation processes by producing reversible inactivations after NMR conditioning sessions. Posttraining inactivations of eyeblink control regions in cerebellar cortical lobule HVI completely prevented conditioning from developing over four sessions. In contrast, similar inactivations of eyeblink control regions in the cerebellar nuclei allowed conditioning to develop normally. These findings provide evidence that there are critical posttraining memory consolidation processes for eyeblink conditioning mediated by the cerebellar cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebellum / drug effects
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Psychological / drug effects
  • Conditioning, Psychological / physiology
  • GABA Agonists / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Motor Skills / drug effects
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Muscimol / pharmacology
  • Neuronal Plasticity / drug effects
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Nictitating Membrane / drug effects
  • Nictitating Membrane / physiology
  • Rabbits


  • GABA Agonists
  • Muscimol