It is one of the major challenges in the field of Neuroscience to unravel the molecular and physiological mechanisms underlying memory formation and related diseases. The group of De Zeeuw aims to tackle this central theme by investigating plasticity and dynamics of sensorimotor systems that control readily tractable motor behaviours. Three lines of objectives and research can be distinguished:
(1) To elucidate the role of the vestibulocerebellum in the performance and adaptation of compensatory eye movements;
(2) To understand the role of the olivocerebellar system in eyelid conditioning;
(3) To map the functional interactions between the cerebellum and cerebral cortex.
All specific aims are investigated by creating cell specific mouse mutants and by analyzing them at the molecular, cellular and systems physiological, as well as behavioural level. Subsequently, the outcomes of the investigations in mouse models are verified by examining patients with related diseases, and if possible, new designs for therapies are developed based on the mechanisms discovered in the animal models.