Cerebellar disruption impairs working memory during evidence accumulation

Nat Commun. 2019 Jul 16;10(1):3128. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11050-x.


To select actions based on sensory evidence, animals must create and manipulate representations of stimulus information in memory. Here we report that during accumulation of somatosensory evidence, optogenetic manipulation of cerebellar Purkinje cells reduces the accuracy of subsequent memory-guided decisions and causes mice to downweight prior information. Behavioral deficits are consistent with the addition of noise and leak to the evidence accumulation process. We conclude that the cerebellum can influence the accurate maintenance of working memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Cerebellum / cytology
  • Cerebellum / injuries
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Craniotomy
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal
  • Optogenetics
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Purkinje Cells / physiology