A Computer Modeling Approach to Understanding the Inferior Olive and Its Relationships to the Cerebellar Cortex in Rats

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 2 (NIPS 1989)

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Maurice Lee, James Bower


This paper presents the results of a simulation of the spatial relationship between the inferior olivary nucleus and folium crus IIA of the lateral hemisphere of the rat cerebellum. The principal objective of this modeling effort was to resolve an apparent conflict between a proposed zonal organization of olivary projections to cerebellar cortex suggested by anatomical tract-tracing experiments (Brodal & Kawamura 1980; Campbell & Armstrong 1983) and a more patchy organization apparent with physiological mapping (Robertson 1987). The results suggest that several unique features of the olivocerebellar circuit may contribute to the appearance of zonal organization using anatomical techniques, but that the detailed patterns of patchy tactile projections seen with physiological techniques are a more accurate representation of the afferent organization of this region of cortex.