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Author Notes:

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Detlef H. Heck, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 855 Monroe Avenue, Room 409, Memphis, TN 38163. E-mail: dheck@uthsc.edu.

The content of this publication is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

The authors declare no competing financial interests.


Research Funding:

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health Grant NS067201 to D.J., Grants NS060887 and NS063009 to D.H.H., Grants NS050808, NS079750, and NS050808 to K.K., Dutch Organization for Medical Sciences (ZonMw) to C.I.D.Z., Life Sciences, Senter (NeuroBasic), and the ERC-advanced, CEREBNET, and C7 programs of the European Community, and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Klingenstein Foundation fellowship to A.P.

The Neuronal Code(s) of the Cerebellum


Journal Title:

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing


Volume 33, Number 45


, Pages 17603-17609

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Understanding how neurons encode information in sequences of action potentials is of fundamental importance to neuroscience. The cerebellum is widely recognized for its involvement in the coordination of movements, which requires muscle activation patterns to be controlled with millisecond precision. Understanding how cerebellar neurons accomplish such high temporal precision is critical to understanding cerebellar function. Inhibitory Purkinje cells, the only output neurons of the cerebellar cortex, and their postsynaptic target neurons in the cerebellar nuclei, fire action potentials at high, sustained frequencies, suggesting spike rate modulation as a possible code. Yet, millisecond precise spatiotemporal spike activity patterns in Purkinje cells and inferior olivary neurons have also been observed. These results and ongoing studies suggest that the neuronal code used by cerebellar neurons may span a wide time scale from millisecond precision to slow rate modulations, likely depending on the behavioral context.

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Copyright © 2013 the authors

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