Are long pauses in the firing of cerebellar interneurons (CINs) related to Purkinje cell (PC) pauses? If PC pauses affect the larger network, then we should find a close relationship between CIN pauses and those in PCs. We recorded activity of 241 cerebellar cortical neurons (206 CINs and 35 PCs) in three anesthetized cats. One fifth of the CINs and more than half of the PCs were identified as pausing. Pauses in CINs and PCs showed some differences: CIN mean pause length was shorter, and, after pauses, only CINs had sustained reduction in their firing rate (FR). Almost all pausing CINs fell into same cluster when we used different methods of clustering CINs by their spontaneous activity. The mean spontaneous firing rate of that cluster was approximately 53 Hz. We also examined cross-correlations in simultaneously recorded neurons. Of 39 cell pairs examined, 14 (35 %) had cross-correlations significantly different from those expected by chance. Almost half of the pairs with two CINs showed statistically significant negative correlations. In contrast, PC/CIN pairs did not often show significant effects in the cross-correlation (12/15 pairs). However, for both CIN/CIN and PC/CIN pairs, pauses in one unit tended to correspond to a reduction in the firing rate of the adjacent unit. In our view, our results support the possibility that previously reported PC bistability is part of a larger network response and not merely a biophysical property of PCs. Any functional role for PC bistability should probably be sought in the context of the broader network.

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Keywords Bistability, Cerebellar interneurons, Cerebellum, Molecular layer interneuron, Pauses
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Journal The Cerebellum
Givon-Mayo, R, Haar, S, Aminov, Y. (Yoav), Simons, E, & Donchin, O. (2017). Long Pauses in Cerebellar Interneurons in Anesthetized Animals. The Cerebellum, 16(2), 293–305. doi:10.1007/s12311-016-0792-y