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Memory consolidation in the cerebellar cortex

Kellett, D.O., Fukunaga, I., Chen-Kubota, E., Dean, P. and Yeo, C.H. (2010) Memory consolidation in the cerebellar cortex. Plos One , 5 (7). Art no.e11737. ISSN 1932-6203

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Several forms of learning, including classical conditioning of the eyeblink, depend upon the cerebellum. In examining mechanisms of eyeblink conditioning in rabbits, reversible inactivations of the control circuitry have begun to dissociate aspects of cerebellar cortical and nuclear function in memory consolidation. It was previously shown that post-training cerebellar cortical, but not nuclear, inactivations with the GABA(A) agonist muscimol prevented consolidation but these findings left open the question as to how final memory storage was partitioned across cortical and nuclear levels. Memory consolidation might be essentially cortical and directly disturbed by actions of the muscimol, or it might be nuclear, and sensitive to the raised excitability of the nuclear neurons following the loss of cortical inhibition. To resolve this question, we simultaneously inactivated cerebellar cortical lobule HVI and the anterior interpositus nucleus of rabbits during the post-training period, so protecting the nuclei from disinhibitory effects of cortical inactivation. Consolidation was impaired by these simultaneous inactivations. Because direct application of muscimol to the nuclei alone has no impact upon consolidation, we can conclude that post-training, consolidation processes and memory storage for eyeblink conditioning have critical cerebellar cortical components. The findings are consistent with a recent model that suggests the distribution of learning-related plasticity across cortical and nuclear levels is task-dependent. There can be transfer to nuclear or brainstem levels for control of high-frequency responses but learning with lower frequency response components, such as in eyeblink conditioning, remains mainly dependent upon cortical memory storage.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2010 Kellett et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Conditioned Eyelid Responses; Nictitating-Membrane Responses; Vestibuloocular Reflex; Purkinje-Cell; Imferior Olive; Motor Control; Plasticity; Acquisition; Extinction; Nuclei
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Department of Psychology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Miss Anthea Tucker
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2010 08:46
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2014 08:05
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0011737
Status: Published
Publisher: Public Library Science
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011737
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/11197

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