At the molecular and circuitry levels, the cerebellum exhibits a striking parasagittal zonation as exemplified by the spatial distribution of molecules expressed on Purkinje cells and the topography of the afferent and efferent projections. The physiology and function of the zonation is less clear. Activitydependent optical imaging has proven a useful tool to examine the physiological properties of the parasagittal zonation in the intact animal. Recent findings show that zebrin IIpositive and zebrin II-negative zones differ markedly in their responses to parallel fiber inputs. These findings suggest that cerebellar cortical excitability, information processing, and synaptic plasticity depend on the intrinsic properties of different parasagittal zones.
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Acknowledgments We wish to thank Lijuan Zhou and Michael McPhee for technical support and Kris Bettin for manuscript preparation. This study was supported in part by NIH grants NS048944, NS18338, and NS062158 and a grant from the Minnesota Medical Foundation.
- Cerebellar cortex
- Parallel fibers
- Parasagittal zones
- Purkinje cells
- Zebrin II