What is a complex spike worth? New paper from de Zeeuw lab gives us some long awaited answers
Our brain receives many different sensory stimuli, of which only some are relevant. The new study published yesterday in Cell Reports from de Zeeuw group led by Lorenzo Bina, found that in every specific context, neurons in the cerebellum carry information about how relevant each stimulus is or has become. They then subsequently promote or suppress the readiness to act at the right moment in order to generate an adequate motor response.
These exciting findings suggest that during learning, climbing fibers do not directly guide motor output, but rather contribute to a general readiness to act via changes in simple spike activity, thereby bridging the sequence from non-motor to motor functions.