Spatial and Temporal Locomotor Learning in Mouse Cerebellum

Dana Darmohray1, Jovin Jacobs1, Hugo G. Marques1, Megan R. Carey1

  • 1Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown



14:30 - 16:00 | Thu 21 Mar | Grand Ballroom A | ThMS

Minisymposium: Motor Learning and Enhancement

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Stable and efficient locomotion requires precise coordination of whole-body movements. Learned changes in interlimb coordination can be induced by exposure to a split-belt treadmill that imposes different speeds under each side of the body. This form of motor learning, known as locomotor adaptation, is used as a rehabilitation therapy in human patients. Here we investigated neural circuit mechanisms underlying locomotor adaptation in mice. We developed a transparent split-belt treadmill that provides high resolution readouts of locomotor behavior using our previously described, noninvasive, markerless LocoMouse tracking system [1]. Quantitative behavioral analysis revealed that mouse locomotor adaptation is specific to measures of interlimb coordination and has spatial and temporal components that adapt at different rates. The remarkable similarities between human and mouse locomotor adaptation suggest that this form of locomotor learning is highly conserved across vertebrates. Further, using a variety of genetic and lesion approaches, we demonstrate that split-belt adaptation in mice specifically depends on intermediate cerebellum, but is insensitive to large lesions of cerebral cortex. Finally, cell-type specific chemogenetics combined with quantitative behavioral analysis reveal distinct neural circuit mechanisms underlying spatial vs. temporal components of locomotor adaptation.

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