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Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive Multiple Reference Frames for Motion in the

Summary: Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive
Multiple Reference Frames for Motion in the
Primate Cerebellum
Aasef G. Shaikh, Hui Meng, and Dora E. Angelaki
Department of Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110
Knowledge of body motion through space is necessary for spatial orientation, self-motion perception, and postural control. Yet, sensory
afferent signals may not directly provide such information to the brain. Because motion detected by the vestibular end organs is encoded
in a head-fixed frame of reference, a coordinate transformation is thus required to encode body motion. In this study, we investigated
whether cerebellar motion-sensitive neurons encode the translation of the body through space. We systematically changed both the
direction of motion relative to the body and the static orientation of the head relative to the trunk. The activities of motion-sensitive
neurons in the most medial of the deep cerebellar nuclei, the rostral fastigial nucleus, were compared with those in the brainstem
in the vestibular nuclei, which primarily encoded motion in a head-fixed reference frame. This differential representation of motion-
related information implies potential differences in the functional roles of these areas.
Key words: self-motion; cerebellum; frame of reference; sensorimotor; multisensory; gain field; coordinate transformation
The vestibular system forms an essential component in the sens-
ing and generation of movement. Our inertial motion sensors,
the otolith organs, located in the inner ear cavity, are highly con-
served throughout evolution and function to provide an accurate


Source: Angelaki, Dora - Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University in St. Louis


Collections: Biology and Medicine