To Err is Human: how do muscle-controlling neurons know when they've messed up?

May, 2014

For years, we have been telling our students that the cerebellum is important for error correction of movement, and that the climbing fiber pathway from the brainstem provides a kind of error signal to the Purkinje cells which carry the output of the cerebellar hemispheres.  New research by Penn’s Javier Medina and graduate student Farzaneh Najafi, along with Sam Wang and Andrea Giovannucci at Princeton University resolves a longstanding paradox concerning just how this task is accomplished in cellular terms.  For more details, click here.

The image above shows Purkinje cells in the mouse cerebellum visualized through two photon microscopy.  (Photo: Andrea Giovanni)