Plasticity leading to cerebellum-dependent learning: two different regions, two different types

  • Dong Cheol Jang
  • Sang Jeong KimEmail author
Invited Review
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Invited Review


In memory research, studying cerebellum-dependent memory is advantageous due to its relatively simple neural architecture compared with that of other memory circuits. To understand how cerebellum-dependent memory develops and is stored in this circuit, numerous hypotheses have been proposed. These hypotheses are generally able to adequately explain most learning and memory processes; however, several reported results are still poorly understood. Recently, the importance of intrinsic plasticity (i.e., plasticity of intrinsic excitability) has been highlighted in several studies. Because the classical view of cerebellum-dependent eye movement learning was focused on synaptic plasticity, it is valuable to consider the intrinsic plasticity for deeper understanding. In the present review, we re-examine the utility and limitations of previous hypotheses, from classic to recent, and propose an updated hypothesis. Integrating intrinsic plasticity into current models of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) circuit may facilitate deeper understanding of the VOR adaptation process. In particular, during the period of memory transfer, dynamic changes in excitability in both cerebellar Purkinje cells and vestibular nuclear neurons illuminate the role of intrinsic plasticity in the circuit.


Cerebellum Purkinje cells Vestibular nucleus Intrinsic plasticity Vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) Memory 



We thank to Trace Lamar Stay for revising the manuscript.

Funding information

This study was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korean government (MSIP) 2018R1A5A2025964, 2017M3C7A1029611, and 2016R1D1A1A02937282 to S.J.K; and a Global Ph.D. fellowship program, 2013H1A2A1034318 to D.C.J.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Brain and Cognitive Science, College of Natural ScienceSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologySeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical ScienceSeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Neuroscience Research InstituteSeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea

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