- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Recent experimental findings indicate that Purkinje cells in the cerebellum represent time intervals by mechanisms other than conventional synaptic weights. These findings add to the theoretical and experimental observations suggesting the presence of intra-cellular mechanisms for adaptation and processing. To account for these experimental results we propose a new biophysical model for time interval learning in a Purkinje cell. The numerical model focuses on a classical delay conditioning task (e.g. eyeblink conditioning) and relies on a few computational steps. In particular, the model posits the activation by the parallel fiber input of a local intra-cellular calcium store which can be modulated by intra-cellular pathways. The reciprocal interaction of the calcium signal with several proteins forming negative and positive feedback loops ensures that the timing of inhibition in the Purkinje cell anticipates the interval between parallel and climbing fiber inputs during training. We systematically test the model ability to learn time intervals at the 150-1000 ms time scale, while observing that learning can also extend to the multiple seconds scale. In agreement with experimental observations we also show that the number of pairings required to learn increases with inter-stimulus interval. Finally, we discuss how this model would allow the cerebellum to detect and generate specific spatio-temporal patterns, a classical theory for cerebellar function. Show more
Journal / seriesPLoS Computational Biology
Pages / Article No.
PublisherPublic Library of Science
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