PublicationsImpact of parallel fiber to Purkinje cell long-term depression is unmasked in absence of inhibitory input.
Pavlovian eyeblink conditioning has been used extensively to study the neural mechanisms underlying associative and motor learning. During this simple learning task, memory formation takes place at Purkinje cells in defined areas of the cerebellar cortex, which acquire a strong temporary suppression of their activity during conditioning. Yet, it is unknown which neuronal plasticity mechanisms mediate this suppression. Two potential mechanisms include long-term depression of parallel fiber to Purkinje cell synapses and feed-forward inhibition by molecular layer interneurons. We show, using a triple transgenic approach, that only concurrent disruption of both these suppression mechanisms can severely impair conditioning, highlighting that both processes can compensate for each other’s deficits.