Statistical methods could shed light on cellular signal processing in the 'little brain'
The cerebellum is critically involved in the fine-tuning of temporally precise behaviours – complex actions or movements that are programmed and executed on a scale of milliseconds. The cerebellar cortex, the outermost portion of the cerebellum, has a relatively simple structure. It plays a role in representing time-dependent sensory information relevant to motor planning and execution. The EU-funded SICNET project is applying rigorous statistical methods to enhance understanding of synaptic processing and circuit computation in the cerebellar cortex. Starting with imaging data from behaving animals, SICNET will apply mathematical methods to extract activity, determine the connectivity and synaptic properties of the known cell types and evaluate the processing capacity of the cerebellar network. The methods should point to the cellular mechanisms of circuit computations in the cerebellum and prove valuable to the study of other brain regions as well.