Skip to main content

Regular and irregular stimuli result in changes in mice eye movement and cerebellar nuclei neuron model behavior

The cerebellum plays an important role in motor control. The cerebellar key players include Purkinje cells (PCs), mossy fibers, climbing fibers, and parallel fibers. Each PC receives inputs from many parallel fibers and from a single climbing fiber. Cerebellar outputs originate from the deep cerebellar and vestibular nuclei. Cerebellar nuclei (CN) neurons receive inhibitory inputs from PCs and excitatory inputs from mossy fiber and climbing fiber collaterals. In this work, we studied how regular and irregular, as well as synchronous and asynchronous, PC firing frequencies affect the eye movements in mice and CN neuron model behavior. Floccular PCs on one side of the head were optogenetically stimulated (see, e.g., [1]). We used both regular and irregular Poisson distributed stimulus trains of 10-90 Hz. As the experimental output, we measured the horizontal eye movements. We compared the effects of the parameters of the stimulus train in the actual eye movements elicited with the effects of the same parameters on the computational CN neuron model. The CN neuron model [2, 3] includes 517 compartments and it receives an inhibitory input from 450 PC synapses originating from 1-450 individual PCs and an excitatory input from 150 mossy fiber synapses. The model has eight different types of ion channels represented with Hodgkin-Huxley type equations. We used both regular and Poisson distributed PC and gamma distributed mossy fiber spike trains as inputs. We ran the model in NEURON simulation environment [4] and did all the data analysis in MATLAB®. We varied the input irregularity, synchrony, mean firing rate (20-120Hz), and PC to CN neuron convergence (1-450). As the model output, we measured the cerebellar nuclei neuron firing rate and mean GABA conductance. The experiments and the model simulations exhibited similar behavior for some but not all of the stimulus frequencies. This suggests a need for further experimental and simulation studies to more fully understand how the parameters of PC firing rate influence downstream oculomotor circuits.


  1. Nguyen-Vu TB, Kimpo RR, Rinaldi JM, Kohli A, Zeng H, Deisseroth K, Raymond JL: Cerebellar Purkinje cell activity drives motor learning. Nat Neurosci. 2013, 16 (12): 1734-1736.

    Article  PubMed  CAS  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  2. Luthman J, Hoebeek FE, Maex R, Davey N, Adams R, De Zeeuw CI, Steuber V: STD-dependent and independent encoding of input irregularity as spike rate in a computational model of a cerebellar nucleus neuron. Cerebellum. 2011, 10 (4): 667-682.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  3. ModelDB, Accession: 144523. []

  4. Carnevale NT, Hines ML: The NEURON Book. 2006, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1st

    Book  Google Scholar 

Download references


This study was supported by the Academy of Finland (application number 126556), US National Institutes of Health (grant RO1 DC004154), as well as the Emil Aaltonen Foundation and Otto A. Malm Foundation.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tiina Manninen.

Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Manninen, T., Nguyen-Vu, T.B. & Raymond, J.L. Regular and irregular stimuli result in changes in mice eye movement and cerebellar nuclei neuron model behavior. BMC Neurosci 16 (Suppl 1), P202 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI:


  • Firing Rate
  • Mossy Fiber
  • Cerebellar Nucleus
  • Parallel Fiber
  • Climbing Fiber