Cerebellar impact on thalamo-cortical networks in health and disease
Dr. Freek Hoebeek
The cerebral cortex and the cerebellum are heavily interconnected by neuronal loops through the pontine and thalamic nuclei. Despite extensive knowledge on how activity is processed within the cerebellar cortex, it remains unknown how the information processed by the cerebellum is forwarded to and integrated in thalamocortical networks. The cerebellum connects to the thalamus by means of neuronal activity in the cerebellar nuclei. Although the anatomy of this connection is documented, its physiology remains a mystery. It is the long-term goal of my research group to unravel the role of cerebellar activity in controlling information processing in thalamocortical networks. We hypothesize that the output of CN neurons that project to the thalamus exerts a powerful control of thalamocortical networks and thereby is able to coordinate the behavior encoded. In this seminar I will address what the impact is of the cerebellar output on the activity patterns of thalamic relay neurons, their downstream targets in cerebral cortex as well on pathological oscillatory activity in these thalamo-cortical networks that is related to epileptic absence seizures.