Working Paper Hypothesis Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

A Hybrid Model of the Cerebellum: An Overview

Version 1 : Received: 5 February 2020 / Approved: 6 February 2020 / Online: 6 February 2020 (04:02:21 CET)

How to cite: Gilbert, M.; Miall, R.C. A Hybrid Model of the Cerebellum: An Overview. Preprints 2020, 2020020078 Gilbert, M.; Miall, R.C. A Hybrid Model of the Cerebellum: An Overview. Preprints 2020, 2020020078


Learning models of the cerebellum propose that the cerebellum implements an algorithm which makes iterative adjustments to synaptic transmission strength that collectively determine the response to input in learned patterns following training. We propose instead that pattern recognition and control of firing by output cells are separately handled functions which process independently variable data. This can account for the evidence without a machine learning algorithm. The model is a hybrid of physiological arguments and computational methods used to test and quantify the ideas. We argue inter alia that learning operates at the level of functional groups of Purkinje cells defined by their shared climbing fibre input; Golgi cells have several functions and regulation of parallel fibre activity by Golgi cells is not in the expected way; recoding of input to the cerebellum received in the granular layer converts the number of input variables (variables expressed in mossy fibre input to the system) into a much reduced number of functional variables expressed by internal signals traffic; circuits simultaneously execute separate but integrated functions of pattern memory and output coding; they are able to operate separately because the expression of data used in each varies independently of the other; output rates are not learned but controlled by recent relevant input signals in a window opened by pattern memory; the moment-to-moment probability that a Purkinje cell spikes is synchronised across a microzone; a principal function of functional organisation of Purkinje cells into microzones is to increase resolution of rate coded information received by the output cells of the circuit, and to do so in a very short integration window, so that circuit architecture can be explained partly as a device with this function.

Subject Areas

cerebellum; network; model; circuit; theory

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