The scientific objective of the proposal is to investigate the role of synchronous activity in local neuronal networks of the Cerebellum in motor coordination and learning. Specifically, we will test whether synchronous Complex Spike activity in neighboring Purkinje cells encodes errors guiding motor adaptation during locomotion in mice. This investigation is made possible by a novel fluorescence imaging technique developed in the Schnitzer laboratory (outgoing host at Stanford University): calcium imaging with single-cell resolution in freely behaving mice, giving access to Complex Spike activity in tens of Purkinje cells simultaneously. The outgoing phase will be followed with dynamic-clamp experiments investigating the impact of such synchronous, learning-related activity on downstream target neurons in Deep Cerebellar Nuclei, and performed at the UNIC laboratory (return host at CNRS, France). The main training objective is to gain expertise in cutting-edge imaging techniques in behaving animals, in order to diversify the Applicant’s skills and knowledge and improve the Applicant’s perspectives for starting an independent research program in Europe. The project contributes to the European knowledge-based economy and society through research oriented at understanding fundamental biological principles of brain function, but also leading towards potential biomedical applications such as imaging techniques in humans or neuroprosthetics.
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