Climbing fiber-driven long-term depression (LTD) of parallel fiber synapses onto cerebellar Purkinje cells has long been investigated as a putative mechanism of motor learning. We recently discovered that the rules governing the induction of LTD at these synapses vary across different regions of the cerebellum. Here, we discuss the design of LTD induction protocols in light of this heterogeneity in plasticity rules. The analytical advantages of the cerebellum provide an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how the specific plasticity rules at synapses support the implementation of learning.
Keywords: Associative plasticity; Heterogeneity; Learning; Long-term depression; Oculomotor; Purkinje cell; Short-term depression; Synaptic plasticity.