, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 97-108
Date: 21 Sep 2013

Neuronal Oscillations in Golgi Cells and Purkinje Cells are Accompanied by Decreases in Shannon Information Entropy

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Neuronal oscillations have been shown to contribute to the function of the cerebral cortex by coordinating the neuronal activities of distant cortical regions via a temporal synchronization of neuronal discharge patterns. This can occur regardless whether these regions are linked by cortico-cortical pathways or not. Less is known concerning the role of neuronal oscillations in the cerebellum. Golgi cells and Purkinje cells are both principal cell types in the cerebellum. Purkinje cells are the sole output cells of the cerebellar cortex while Golgi cells contribute to information processing at the input stage of the cerebellar cortex. Both cell types have large cell bodies, as well as dendritic structures, that can generate large currents. The discharge patterns of both these cell types also exhibit oscillations. In view of the massive afferent information conveyed by the mossy fiber–granule cell system to different and distant areas of the cerebellar cortex, it is relevant to inquire the role of cerebellar neuronal oscillations in information processing. In this study, we compared the discharge patterns of Golgi cells and Purkinje cells in conscious rats and in rats anesthetized with urethane. We assessed neuronal oscillations by analyzing the regularity in the timing of individual spikes within a spike train by using autocorrelograms and fast-Fourier transform. We measured the differences in neuronal oscillations and the amount of information content in a spike train (defined by Shannon entropy processed per unit time) in rats under anesthesia and in conscious, awake rats. Our findings indicated that anesthesia caused more prominent neuronal oscillations in both Golgi cells and Purkinje cells accompanied by decreases in Shannon information entropy in their spike trains.

Huang JJ and Yen CT are co-first authors, Tsai ML and Huang C are co-corresponding authors