Purkinje Cell Activity Resonation Generates Rhythmic Behaviors at the Preferred Frequency of 8 Hz

Staf Bauer, Nathalie van Wingerden, Thomas Jacobs, Annabel van der Horst, Peipei Zhai, Jan Harm L.F. Betting, Christos Strydis, Joshua J. White, Chris I. De Zeeuw, Vincenzo Romano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Neural activity exhibits oscillations, bursts, and resonance, enhancing responsiveness at preferential frequencies. For example, theta-frequency bursting and resonance in granule cells facilitate synaptic transmission and plasticity mechanisms at the input stage of the cerebellar cortex. However, whether theta-frequency bursting of Purkinje cells is involved in generating rhythmic behavior has remained neglected. We recorded and optogenetically modulated the simple and complex spike activity of Purkinje cells while monitoring whisker movements with a high-speed camera of awake, head-fixed mice. During spontaneous whisking, both simple spike activity and whisker movement exhibit peaks within the theta band. Eliciting either simple or complex spikes at frequencies ranging from 0.5 to 28 Hz, we found that 8 Hz is the preferred frequency around which the largest movement is induced. Interestingly, oscillatory whisker movements at 8 Hz were also generated when simple spike bursting was induced at 2 and 4 Hz, but never via climbing fiber stimulation. These results indicate that 8 Hz is the resonant frequency at which the cerebellar-whisker circuitry produces rhythmic whisking.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1831
Number of pages16
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • cerebellum
  • optogenetics stimulation
  • Purkinje cell
  • theta resonance
  • whisker


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