Direction discrimination thresholds of vestibular and cerebellar nuclei neurons

Sheng Liu, Tatyana Yakusheva, Gregory C. DeAngelis, Dora Angelaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To understand the roles of the vestibular system in perceptual detection and discrimination of self-motion, it is critical to account for response variability in computing the sensitivity of vestibular neurons. Here we study responses of neurons with no eye movement sensitivity in the vestibular (VN) and rostral fastigial nuclei (FN) using high-frequency (2 Hz) oscillatory translational motion stimuli. The axis of translation (i.e., heading) varied slowly (1° /s) in the horizontal plane as the animal was translated back and forth. Signal detection theory was used to compute the threshold sensitivity of VN/FN neurons for discriminating small variations in heading around all possible directions of translation. Across the population, minimum heading discrimination thresholds averaged 16.6° ± 1° SE for FN neurons and 15.3° ± 2.2° SE for VN neurons, severalfold larger than perceptual thresholds for heading discrimination. In line with previous studies and theoretical predictions, maximum discriminability was observed for directions where firing rate changed steeply as a function of heading, which occurs at headings approximately perpendicular to the maximum response direction. Forward/backward heading thresholds tended to be lower than lateral motion thresholds, and the ratio of lateral over forward heading thresholds averaged 2.2 ± 6.1 (geometric mean ± SD) for FN neurons and 1.1 ± 4.4 for VN neurons. Our findings suggest that substantial pooling and/or selective decoding of vestibular signals from the vestibular and deep cerebellar nuclei may be important components of further processing. Such a characterization of neural sensitivity is critical for understanding how early stages of vestibular processing limit behavioral performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-448
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 13 2010

Fingerprint

Vestibular Nuclei
Cerebellar Nuclei
Neurons
Eye Movements
Discrimination (Psychology)
Direction compound
Theoretical Models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Direction discrimination thresholds of vestibular and cerebellar nuclei neurons. / Liu, Sheng; Yakusheva, Tatyana; DeAngelis, Gregory C.; Angelaki, Dora.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 30, No. 2, 13.01.2010, p. 439-448.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Liu, Sheng ; Yakusheva, Tatyana ; DeAngelis, Gregory C. ; Angelaki, Dora. / Direction discrimination thresholds of vestibular and cerebellar nuclei neurons. In: Journal of Neuroscience. 2010 ; Vol. 30, No. 2. pp. 439-448.
@article{8bf080fe922d4fa6ab10e6a0b43d6ebc,
title = "Direction discrimination thresholds of vestibular and cerebellar nuclei neurons",
abstract = "To understand the roles of the vestibular system in perceptual detection and discrimination of self-motion, it is critical to account for response variability in computing the sensitivity of vestibular neurons. Here we study responses of neurons with no eye movement sensitivity in the vestibular (VN) and rostral fastigial nuclei (FN) using high-frequency (2 Hz) oscillatory translational motion stimuli. The axis of translation (i.e., heading) varied slowly (1° /s) in the horizontal plane as the animal was translated back and forth. Signal detection theory was used to compute the threshold sensitivity of VN/FN neurons for discriminating small variations in heading around all possible directions of translation. Across the population, minimum heading discrimination thresholds averaged 16.6° ± 1° SE for FN neurons and 15.3° ± 2.2° SE for VN neurons, severalfold larger than perceptual thresholds for heading discrimination. In line with previous studies and theoretical predictions, maximum discriminability was observed for directions where firing rate changed steeply as a function of heading, which occurs at headings approximately perpendicular to the maximum response direction. Forward/backward heading thresholds tended to be lower than lateral motion thresholds, and the ratio of lateral over forward heading thresholds averaged 2.2 ± 6.1 (geometric mean ± SD) for FN neurons and 1.1 ± 4.4 for VN neurons. Our findings suggest that substantial pooling and/or selective decoding of vestibular signals from the vestibular and deep cerebellar nuclei may be important components of further processing. Such a characterization of neural sensitivity is critical for understanding how early stages of vestibular processing limit behavioral performance.",
author = "Sheng Liu and Tatyana Yakusheva and DeAngelis, {Gregory C.} and Dora Angelaki",
year = "2010",
month = "1",
day = "13",
doi = "10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3192-09.2010",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "30",
pages = "439--448",
journal = "Journal of Neuroscience",
issn = "0270-6474",
publisher = "Society for Neuroscience",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Direction discrimination thresholds of vestibular and cerebellar nuclei neurons

AU - Liu, Sheng

AU - Yakusheva, Tatyana

AU - DeAngelis, Gregory C.

AU - Angelaki, Dora

PY - 2010/1/13

Y1 - 2010/1/13

N2 - To understand the roles of the vestibular system in perceptual detection and discrimination of self-motion, it is critical to account for response variability in computing the sensitivity of vestibular neurons. Here we study responses of neurons with no eye movement sensitivity in the vestibular (VN) and rostral fastigial nuclei (FN) using high-frequency (2 Hz) oscillatory translational motion stimuli. The axis of translation (i.e., heading) varied slowly (1° /s) in the horizontal plane as the animal was translated back and forth. Signal detection theory was used to compute the threshold sensitivity of VN/FN neurons for discriminating small variations in heading around all possible directions of translation. Across the population, minimum heading discrimination thresholds averaged 16.6° ± 1° SE for FN neurons and 15.3° ± 2.2° SE for VN neurons, severalfold larger than perceptual thresholds for heading discrimination. In line with previous studies and theoretical predictions, maximum discriminability was observed for directions where firing rate changed steeply as a function of heading, which occurs at headings approximately perpendicular to the maximum response direction. Forward/backward heading thresholds tended to be lower than lateral motion thresholds, and the ratio of lateral over forward heading thresholds averaged 2.2 ± 6.1 (geometric mean ± SD) for FN neurons and 1.1 ± 4.4 for VN neurons. Our findings suggest that substantial pooling and/or selective decoding of vestibular signals from the vestibular and deep cerebellar nuclei may be important components of further processing. Such a characterization of neural sensitivity is critical for understanding how early stages of vestibular processing limit behavioral performance.

AB - To understand the roles of the vestibular system in perceptual detection and discrimination of self-motion, it is critical to account for response variability in computing the sensitivity of vestibular neurons. Here we study responses of neurons with no eye movement sensitivity in the vestibular (VN) and rostral fastigial nuclei (FN) using high-frequency (2 Hz) oscillatory translational motion stimuli. The axis of translation (i.e., heading) varied slowly (1° /s) in the horizontal plane as the animal was translated back and forth. Signal detection theory was used to compute the threshold sensitivity of VN/FN neurons for discriminating small variations in heading around all possible directions of translation. Across the population, minimum heading discrimination thresholds averaged 16.6° ± 1° SE for FN neurons and 15.3° ± 2.2° SE for VN neurons, severalfold larger than perceptual thresholds for heading discrimination. In line with previous studies and theoretical predictions, maximum discriminability was observed for directions where firing rate changed steeply as a function of heading, which occurs at headings approximately perpendicular to the maximum response direction. Forward/backward heading thresholds tended to be lower than lateral motion thresholds, and the ratio of lateral over forward heading thresholds averaged 2.2 ± 6.1 (geometric mean ± SD) for FN neurons and 1.1 ± 4.4 for VN neurons. Our findings suggest that substantial pooling and/or selective decoding of vestibular signals from the vestibular and deep cerebellar nuclei may be important components of further processing. Such a characterization of neural sensitivity is critical for understanding how early stages of vestibular processing limit behavioral performance.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=74949142553&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=74949142553&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3192-09.2010

DO - 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3192-09.2010

M3 - Article

C2 - 20071508

AN - SCOPUS:74949142553

VL - 30

SP - 439

EP - 448

JO - Journal of Neuroscience

JF - Journal of Neuroscience

SN - 0270-6474

IS - 2

ER -