Responses of Purkinje cells in rabbit nodulus and uvula to natural vestibular and visual stimuli. Academic Article uri icon


  • 1. The responses of Purkinje cells and presumed mossy fibers to natural stimulation of the horizontal semicircular canals were recorded in the nodulus and uvula of rabbit vestibulocerebellum. Units responding to vestibular stimulation were also studied with visual stimulation. 2. The responses of presumed mossy fibers were of the Type I and Type II varieties and were characterized by a low threshold for angular acceleration and high sensitivity. 3. Purkinje cell responses were divided into two groups: The first group showed only modulation of simple spike activity during rotation. According to the directionality of their responses to rotation, Purkinje cells of the first group could be further subdivided into Types I, II or III; Type II was the most frequently encountered. The second group showed modulation of both simple spike and climbing fiber activity. The simple spike response most frequently encountered was of Type II while the climbing fiber activity in the same Purkinje cells responded in the Type I mode. In another population of Purkinje cells of this group, simple spike activity was modulated by rotation in one direction only. All Purkinje cell responses had relatively high thresholds and low sensitivities. 4. Some Purkinje cells responding to rotation showed direction-selective modulation of climbing fiber discharge in response to slowly moving visual patterns.

publication date

  • November 30, 1976