Neuroscience Seminar Series:
Friday, October 20th, 2017 , 11:30 am, Salle des conférences (3rd Floor), Centre Universitaire des Saints-Pères, 45 rue des Saints-Pères, 75006 Paris
Megan R. Carey, Group Leader, Champalimaud Neuroscience Program, Lisbon, Portugal
Title: Cerebellar contributions to coordinated locomotion in mice
Smooth and efficient walking requires the coordination of movement across the entire body. In this talk I will describe our efforts to understand cerebellar contributions to locomotor coordination. We have developed an automated, markerless 3D tracking system (LocoMouse) to establish a quantitative framework for locomotion in freely walking mice. Analyzing the locomotor behavior of visibly ataxic mice with cerebellar defects has revealed specific, cerebellum-dependent features of locomotor coordination that suggest that cerebellar ataxia results from an inability to predict the consequences of movements across the body. In current experiments we are testing this idea by investigating neural circuit mechanisms of locomotor adaptation, in which mice learn to adapt their locomotor patterns to achieve a more symmetrical gait while walking on a split-belt treadmill. This approach is providing insight into how the highly stereotyped cellular architecture of the cerebellum supports a wide variety of behaviors, from relatively simple forms of learning to complex feats of coordination.