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Dynamic synchronization of Purkinje cell simple spikes.

SL Shin, E De Schutter

Theoretical Neurobiology University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B2610 Antwerp, Belgium.

Journal of neurophysiology 96:3485-91 (2006)

Abstract - Purkinje cells (PCs) integrate all computations performed in the cerebellar cortex to inhibit neurons in the deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN). Simple spikes recorded in vivo from pairs of PCs separated by <100 microm are known to be synchronized with a sharp peak riding on a broad peak, but the significance of this finding is unclear. We show that the sharp peak consists exclusively of simple spikes associated with pauses in firing. The broader, less precise peak was caused by firing-rate co-modulation of faster firing spikes. About 13% of all pauses were synchronized, and these pauses had a median duration of 20 ms. As in vitro studies have reported that synchronous pauses can reliably trigger spikes in DCN neurons, we suggest that the subgroup of spikes causing the sharp peak is important for precise temporal coding in the cerebellum.

PMID: 16987931 [PubMed]