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    Here, we investigate stimulus generalization in a cerebellar learning paradigm, called eyeblink conditioning. Mice were conditioned to close their eyes in response to a 10-kHz tone by repeatedly pairing this tone with an air puff to the eye 250 ms after tone onset. After 10 consecutive days of training, when mice showed reliable conditioned eyelid responses to the 10-kHz tone, we started to expose them to tones with other frequencies, ranging from 2 to 20 kHz. We found that mice had a strong generalization gradient, whereby the probability and amplitude of conditioned eyelid responses gradually decreases depending on the dissimilarity with the 10-kHz tone. Tones with frequencies closest to 10 kHz evoked the most and largest conditioned eyelid responses and each step away from the 10-kHz tone resulted in fewer and smaller conditioned responses (CRs). In addition, we found that tones with lower frequencies resulted in CRs that peaked earlier after tone onset compared with those to tones with higher frequencies. Together, our data show prominent generalization patterns in cerebellar learning. Since the known function of cerebellum is rapidly expanding from pure motor control to domains that include cognition, reward-learning, fear-learning, social function, and even addiction, our data imply generalization controlled by cerebellum in all these domains. Copyright © 2022 Fiocchi et al.


    F R Fiocchi, S Dijkhuizen, S K E Koekkoek, C I De Zeeuw, H J Boele. Stimulus Generalization in Mice during Pavlovian Eyeblink Conditioning. eNeuro. 2022 Mar-Apr;9(2)

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    PMID: 35228312

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