The cerebellum facilitates smooth motor execution and learning by constructing internal models that link sensation to action. In addition to this well-studied function, there is increasing evidence for a cerebellar contribution to cognitive processes, such as processing of reward. We aim to understand how sensory, motor, and higher-order parameters are encoded by populations of cerebellar neurons.
To address this question, we use population two-photon calcium imaging and Neuropixels probes to record activity from populations of cerebellar neurons, with a focus on Purkinje cells – the output neurons of the cerebellar cortex. In this talk, I will discuss our recent findings addressing how the climbing fiber pathway conveys both sensorimotor and reward-related signals to Purkinje cells during goal-directed behaviour, and how these signals are shaped by learning.