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Cerebellar structure and function: making sense of parallel fibers.
Heck D, Sultan F.
of Biology III, Neurobiology & Biophysics, University of Freiburg,
79104 Freiburg, Germany. firstname.lastname@example.org
parts of the brain have to cooperate in a finely tuned way in order to
generate coordinated motor output. Parameters of these cooperations are
adjusted during early childhood development and years of motor learning
later in life. The cerebellum plays a special role in the concert of
these brain structures. With the unusual geometrical arrangement of its
neuronal elements, especially of parallel fibers and Purkinje cells the
cerebellum is a selective and sensitive detector of a specific class of
spatio-temporal activity patterns in the mossy fiber system: sequences
of excitatory input which 'move' along the direction of parallel fibers
at about 0.5 m/s, i.e. the speed of spike conductance in parallel
fibers. Precise spatio-temporal neuronal activity patterns have been
shown to occur in two major sources of afference to the cerebellum, the
neocortex and the sensory feedback system. Based on our own
experimental work and the above-mentioned findings we suggest that the
cerebellum detects specific spatio-temporal activity patterns which
trigger learned cerebellar output related to motor control and which
contributes to the control of precise timing of muscle contraction.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.
PMID: 12381396 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]