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    Mark Wagner.
    The cerebellum is critical for learning skilled movements such as reaching and manipulating objects. Coordination of ensemble neuronal spiking may be key to cerebellar control of movement, but is largely unexplored during skilled behavior. Here we show that skilled reaching tasks evoke novel coordinated silence, spiking, and motor coding seen only by monitoring many Purkinje neurons simultaneously. We designed a robotic manipulandum that mice grasped while making targeted reaches during 2-photon calcium imaging. Neurons often all stopped spiking together, much more frequently than observing each neuron separately would predict. This concerted silence signaled individual reaches more effectively than ensemble average spiking. We also found that collective synchronous spiking near reach onset accompanied less jerky and variable movements. Robotic perturbations to reaching elicited collective direction-selective synchrony. These coordinated activity patterns were unavailable from individual neurons or traditional population averages and hint at a novel reaching-evoked coordinated cerebellar circuit state.
    Digital Access   2014