Reading out a spatiotemporal population code by imaging neighbouring parallel fibre axons in vivo

Nat Commun. 2015 Mar 9;6:6464. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7464.


The spatiotemporal pattern of synaptic inputs to the dendritic tree is crucial for synaptic integration and plasticity. However, it is not known if input patterns driven by sensory stimuli are structured or random. Here we investigate the spatial patterning of synaptic inputs by directly monitoring presynaptic activity in the intact mouse brain on the micron scale. Using in vivo calcium imaging of multiple neighbouring cerebellar parallel fibre axons, we find evidence for clustered patterns of axonal activity during sensory processing. The clustered parallel fibre input we observe is ideally suited for driving dendritic spikes, postsynaptic calcium signalling, and synaptic plasticity in downstream Purkinje cells, and is thus likely to be a major feature of cerebellar function during sensory processing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology
  • Dendrites / physiology*
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Molecular Imaging
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Purkinje Cells / cytology
  • Purkinje Cells / physiology*
  • Sensation*
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synapses / ultrastructure