The eyeblink conditioning paradigm captures an elementary form of associative learning in a neural circuitry that is understood to an extraordinary degree. Cerebellar cortical Purkinje cell simple spike suppression is widely regarded as the main process underlying conditioned responses (CRs), leading to disinhibition of neurons in the cerebellar nuclei that innervate eyelid muscles downstream. However, recent work highlights the addition of a conditioned Purkinje cell complex spike response, which at the level of the interposed nucleus seems to translate to a transient spike suppression that can be followed by a rapid spike facilitation. Here, we review the characteristics of these responses at the cerebellar cortical and nuclear level, and discuss possible origins and functions.
Keywords: Associative learning; Climbing fibers; Eyeblink conditioning; Olivocerebellar system; Purkinje cell.
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.