Self-referential phase reset based on inferior olive oscillator dynamics. Academic Article uri icon


  • The olivo-cerebellar network is a key neuronal circuit that provides high-level motor control in the vertebrate CNS. Functionally, its network dynamics is organized around the oscillatory membrane potential properties of inferior olive (IO) neurons and their electrotonic connectivity. Because IO action potentials are generated at the peaks of the quasisinusoidal membrane potential oscillations, their temporal firing properties are defined by the IO rhythmicity. Excitatory inputs to these neurons can produce oscillatory phase shifts without modifying the amplitude or frequency of the oscillations, allowing well defined time-shift modulation of action potential generation. Moreover, the resulting phase is defined only by the amplitude and duration of the reset stimulus and is independent of the original oscillatory phase when the stimulus was delivered. This reset property, henceforth referred to as selfreferential phase reset, results in the generation of organized clusters of electrically coupled cells that oscillate in phase and are controlled by inhibitory feedback loops through the cerebellar nuclei and the cerebellar cortex. These clusters provide a dynamical representation of arbitrary motor intention patterns that are further mapped to the motor execution system. Being supplied with sensory inputs, the olivo-cerebellar network is capable of rearranging the clusters during the process of movement execution. Accordingly, the phase of the IO oscillators can be rapidly reset to a desired phase independently of the history of phase evolution. The goal of this article is to show how this selfreferential phase reset may be implemented into a motor control system by using a biologically based mathematical model.

publication date

  • December 28, 2004