Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Thier
Werner Reichardt Centrum für Integrative Neurowissenschaften (CIN) / Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research
Dept. of Cognitive Neurology
University of Tübingen
Cerebellum-based learning and its role in coping with fatigue
The cerebellar cortex is a crystal-like structure, consisting of an almost endless repetition of a canonical microcircuit that applies one and the same computational principle to different inputs. The output of this transformation is broadcasted to extracerebellar structures by way of Purkinje cells. Different types of eye movements are accommodated by different cerebellocortical regions without evidence for interactions. The “oculomotor vermis” (OMV), comprising the phylogenetically recent lobuli VI and VII at the junction between the two cerebellar hemispheres, plays a key role in the control of visually guided saccades and smooth pursuit eye movements. Both types of eye movements require the mapping of retinal information onto motor vectors, a transformation that is controlled by the OMV. To this end, the OMV uses predictions of future performance errors rooting in past experiences to optimally adjust the mapping parameters from one realization of a visually guided movement to the next. I will argue that the adjustments are particularly important for the compensation of the consequences of fatigue.
Host: Prof. Zhaoping Li