Bidirectional changes in synaptic transmission have the potential to optimize the control of movement. However, it can be difficult to establish a causal relationship between the bidirectionality of synaptic plasticity and bidirectional changes in the speed of actual movements. We asked whether metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (mGluR1) receptors, which participate in cerebellar long-term depression (LTD), are necessary for bidirectional motor learning in the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR). Cerebellar LTD and long-term potentiation (LTP) are thought to cause increases and decreases, respectively, in the gain of the VOR; the direction of learning depends on the behavioral protocol. We injected either the mGluR1 agonist (S)-DHPG or the antagonist YM 298198 bilaterally into the flocculus of alert cats, and then induced motor learning. In the presence of YM 298198, the VOR gain decreased in gain-up, as well as in gain-down protocols. (S)-DHPG augmented gain-up learning. Gain-down learning was not significantly affected by either drug. These results supported the hypothesis that gain-up learning relies on cerebellar LTD, but gain-down learning relies on a different mechanism. In the absence of mGluR1 activity, cerebellar LTD may be replaced with LTP, permitting learning in only one direction.