Learning a new goal-directed behavioral task often requires the improvement of at least two processes, including an enhanced stimulus-response association and an optimization of the execution of the motor response. The cerebellum has recently been shown to play a role in acquiring goal-directed behavior, but it is unclear to what extent it contributes to a change in the stimulus-response association and/or the optimization of the execution of the motor response.Wetherefore designed the stimulus-dependent water Y-maze conditioning task, which allows discrimination between both processes, and we subsequently subjected Purkinje cell-specific mutant mice to this new task. The mouse mutants L7-PKCi, which suffer from impaired PKC-dependent processes such as parallel fiber to Purkinje cell long-term depression (PF-PC LTD), were able to acquire the stimulus-response association, but exhibited a reduced optimization of their motor performance. These data show that PF-PC LTD is not required for learning a stimulus-response association, but they do suggest that a PKC-dependent process in cerebellar Purkinje cells is required for optimization of motor responses. Copyright

doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2190-10.2010, hdl.handle.net/1765/27874
The Journal of Neuroscience
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam