Inferior olive oscillation as the temporal basis for motricity and oscillatory reset as the basis for motor error correction. Academic Article uri icon


  • The cerebellum can be viewed as supporting two distinct aspects of motor execution related to a) motor coordination and the sequence that imparts such movement temporal coherence and b) the reorganization of ongoing movement when a motor execution error occurs. The former has been referred to as "motor time binding" as it requires that the large numbers of motoneurons involved be precisely activated from a temporal perspective. By contrast, motor error correction requires the abrupt reorganization of ongoing motor sequences, on occasion sufficiently important to rescue the animal or person from potentially lethal situations. The olivo-cerebellar system plays an important role in both categories of motor control. In particular, the morphology and electrophysiology of inferior olivary neurons have been selected by evolution to execute a rather unique oscillatory pace-making function, one required for temporal sequencing and a unique oscillatory phase resetting dynamic for error correction. Thus, inferior olivary (IO) neurons are electrically coupled through gap junctions, generating synchronous subthreshold oscillations of their membrane potential at a frequency of 1-10 Hz and are capable of fast and reliable phase resetting. Here I propose to address the role of the olivocerebellar system in the context of motor timing and reset.

publication date

  • September 1, 2009