A Flexible Platform for Monitoring Cerebellum-Dependent Sensory Associative Learning

J Vis Exp. 2022 Jan 19:(179):10.3791/63205. doi: 10.3791/63205.


Climbing fiber inputs to Purkinje cells provide instructive signals critical for cerebellum-dependent associative learning. Studying these signals in head-fixed mice facilitates the use of imaging, electrophysiological, and optogenetic methods. Here, a low-cost behavioral platform (~$1000) was developed that allows tracking of associative learning in head-fixed mice that locomote freely on a running wheel. The platform incorporates two common associative learning paradigms: eyeblink conditioning and delayed tactile startle conditioning. Behavior is tracked using a camera and the wheel movement by a detector. We describe the components and setup and provide a detailed protocol for training and data analysis. This platform allows the incorporation of optogenetic stimulation and fluorescence imaging. The design allows a single host computer to control multiple platforms for training multiple animals simultaneously.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blinking
  • Cerebellum*
  • Conditioning, Classical
  • Mice
  • Optogenetics
  • Purkinje Cells* / physiology