Lectures and seminars Live stream Keynote lecture (StratNeuro retreat): " The complex behaviors of the 'simple' cerebellar circuit"

20-05-2022 1:00 pm Add to iCal

Professor Carey will give a Keynote Lecture on 20 May 2022 at 13:00, during the 2022 StratNeuro Retreat, which KI researchers who are not attending the retreat are welcome to attend virtually. Register via link.


"The complex behaviors of the 'simple' cerebellar circuit (or, how we chew gum and walk at the same time)"


Megan R. Carey Senior group Leader (Full Professor level), Champalimaud Center for the Unknown, Lisboa, Portugal

Even the seemingly simplest actions require precise coordination of multiple body parts. The cerebellum is essential for coordinating movement, but we still don’t understand how cerebellar circuit computations contribute to whole-body behaviors like locomotion. Decades of recordings have shown that cerebellar Purkinje cell output is broadly correlated with the locomotor stride cycle. However, much of the firing rate variability has remained unexplained; moreover, previous analyses do not provide a clear model for how Purkinje cell activity could be read out to control coordination. We have taken a behavior-centric approach to this problem, establishing a quantitative framework (LocoMouse) that reveals specific, cerebellum-dependent features of locomotor coordination (e.g. Machado et al., eLife 2015, 2020). This work suggests that cerebellar ataxia stems from an inability to predict the consequences of movements across the body. We are further investigating this idea by studying neural circuit mechanisms of a form of locomotor learning in which mice adapt their locomotor patterns to achieve a more symmetrical gait while walking on a split-belt treadmill (Darmohray et al., Neuron 2019). Our most recent work demonstrates that individual Purkinje cells encode the movements of multiple body parts, providing precise representations of temporal coordination across diverse combinations of behavioral events. These findings resolve long-standing controversies surrounding the role of Purkinje cells in locomotor control and could allow for efficient readouts of whole-body coordination for flexible behavior.


Gilad Silberberg, Karolinska Institutet, Department of Neuroscience


Vasco Sousa Research Specialist