Neural representation of orientation relative to gravity in the macaque cerebellum

Jean Laurens, Hui Meng, Dora Angelaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A fundamental challenge for maintaining spatial orientation and interacting with the world is knowledge of our orientation relative to gravity, i.e., head tilt. Sensing gravity is complicated because of Einstein's equivalence principle, in which gravitational and translational accelerations are physically indistinguishable. Theory has proposed that this ambiguity is solved by tracking head tilt through multisensory integration. Here we identify a group of Purkinje cells in the caudal cerebellar vermis with responses that reflect an estimate of head tilt. These tilt-selective cells are complementary to translation-selective Purkinje cells, such that their population activities sum to the net gravitoinertial acceleration encoded by the otolith organs, as predicted by theory. These findings reflect the remarkable ability of the cerebellum for neural computation and provide quantitative evidence for a neural representation of gravity, whose calculation relies on long-postulated theoretical concepts such as internal models and Bayesian priors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1508-1518
Number of pages11
JournalNeuron
Volume80
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 18 2013

Fingerprint

Gravitation
Macaca
Cerebellum
Purkinje Cells
Head
Gravity Sensing
Otolithic Membrane
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Neural representation of orientation relative to gravity in the macaque cerebellum. / Laurens, Jean; Meng, Hui; Angelaki, Dora.

In: Neuron, Vol. 80, No. 6, 18.12.2013, p. 1508-1518.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Laurens, Jean ; Meng, Hui ; Angelaki, Dora. / Neural representation of orientation relative to gravity in the macaque cerebellum. In: Neuron. 2013 ; Vol. 80, No. 6. pp. 1508-1518.
@article{01d7e7c0ce1b4a2b9cc13852e4c16600,
title = "Neural representation of orientation relative to gravity in the macaque cerebellum",
abstract = "A fundamental challenge for maintaining spatial orientation and interacting with the world is knowledge of our orientation relative to gravity, i.e., head tilt. Sensing gravity is complicated because of Einstein's equivalence principle, in which gravitational and translational accelerations are physically indistinguishable. Theory has proposed that this ambiguity is solved by tracking head tilt through multisensory integration. Here we identify a group of Purkinje cells in the caudal cerebellar vermis with responses that reflect an estimate of head tilt. These tilt-selective cells are complementary to translation-selective Purkinje cells, such that their population activities sum to the net gravitoinertial acceleration encoded by the otolith organs, as predicted by theory. These findings reflect the remarkable ability of the cerebellum for neural computation and provide quantitative evidence for a neural representation of gravity, whose calculation relies on long-postulated theoretical concepts such as internal models and Bayesian priors.",
author = "Jean Laurens and Hui Meng and Dora Angelaki",
year = "2013",
month = "12",
day = "18",
doi = "10.1016/j.neuron.2013.09.029",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "80",
pages = "1508--1518",
journal = "Neuron",
issn = "0896-6273",
publisher = "Cell Press",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Neural representation of orientation relative to gravity in the macaque cerebellum

AU - Laurens, Jean

AU - Meng, Hui

AU - Angelaki, Dora

PY - 2013/12/18

Y1 - 2013/12/18

N2 - A fundamental challenge for maintaining spatial orientation and interacting with the world is knowledge of our orientation relative to gravity, i.e., head tilt. Sensing gravity is complicated because of Einstein's equivalence principle, in which gravitational and translational accelerations are physically indistinguishable. Theory has proposed that this ambiguity is solved by tracking head tilt through multisensory integration. Here we identify a group of Purkinje cells in the caudal cerebellar vermis with responses that reflect an estimate of head tilt. These tilt-selective cells are complementary to translation-selective Purkinje cells, such that their population activities sum to the net gravitoinertial acceleration encoded by the otolith organs, as predicted by theory. These findings reflect the remarkable ability of the cerebellum for neural computation and provide quantitative evidence for a neural representation of gravity, whose calculation relies on long-postulated theoretical concepts such as internal models and Bayesian priors.

AB - A fundamental challenge for maintaining spatial orientation and interacting with the world is knowledge of our orientation relative to gravity, i.e., head tilt. Sensing gravity is complicated because of Einstein's equivalence principle, in which gravitational and translational accelerations are physically indistinguishable. Theory has proposed that this ambiguity is solved by tracking head tilt through multisensory integration. Here we identify a group of Purkinje cells in the caudal cerebellar vermis with responses that reflect an estimate of head tilt. These tilt-selective cells are complementary to translation-selective Purkinje cells, such that their population activities sum to the net gravitoinertial acceleration encoded by the otolith organs, as predicted by theory. These findings reflect the remarkable ability of the cerebellum for neural computation and provide quantitative evidence for a neural representation of gravity, whose calculation relies on long-postulated theoretical concepts such as internal models and Bayesian priors.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84890525243&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84890525243&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.09.029

DO - 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.09.029

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84890525243

VL - 80

SP - 1508

EP - 1518

JO - Neuron

JF - Neuron

SN - 0896-6273

IS - 6

ER -