Learning from the past: A reverberation of past errors in the cerebellar climbing fiber signal
|Sun, Zong Peng|
|Dicke, Peter W.|
|Giese, Martin A.|
The cerebellum allows us to rapidly adjust motor behavior to the needs of the situation. It is commonly assumed that cerebellum-based motor learning is guided by the difference between the desired and the actual behavior, i.e., by error information. Not only immediate but also future behavior will benefit from an error because it induces lasting changes of parallel fiber synapses on Purkinje cells (PCs), whose output mediates the behavioral adjustments. Olivary climbing fibers, likewise connecting with PCs, are thought to transport information on instant errors needed for the synaptic modification yet not to contribute to error memory. Here, we report work on monkeys tested in a saccadic learning paradigm that challenges this concept. We demonstrate not only a clear complex spikes (CS) signature of the error at the time of its occurrence but also a reverberation of this signature much later, before a new manifestation of the behavior, suitable to improve it.