Sensorimotor content of multi-unit activity recorded in the paramedian lobule of the cerebellum using carbon fiber microelectrode arrays

Esma Cetinkaya, Eric J. Lang, Mesut Sahin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cerebellum takes in a great deal of sensory information from the periphery and descending signals from the cerebral cortices. It has been debated whether the paramedian lobule (PML) in the rat and its paravermal regions that project to the interpositus nucleus (IPN) are primarily involved in motor execution or motor planning. Studies that have relied on single spike recordings in behaving animals have led to conflicting conclusions regarding this issue. In this study, we tried a different approach and investigated the correlation of field potentials and multi-unit signals recorded with multi-electrode arrays from the PML cortex along with the forelimb electromyography (EMG) signals in rats during behavior. Linear regression was performed to predict the EMG signal envelopes using the PML activity for various time shifts (±25, ±50, ±100, and ± 400 ms) between the two signals to determine a causal relation. The highest correlations (~0.5 on average) between the neural and EMG envelopes were observed for zero and small (±25 ms) time shifts and decreased with larger time shifts in both directions, suggesting that paravermal PML is involved both in processing of sensory signals and motor execution in the context of forelimb reaching behavior. EMG envelopes were predicted with higher success rates when neural signals from multiple phases of the behavior were utilized for regression. The forelimb extension phase was the most difficult to predict while the releasing of the bar phase prediction was the most successful. The high frequency (>300 Hz) components of the neural signal, reflecting multi-unit activity, had a higher contribution to the EMG prediction than did the lower frequency components, corresponding to local field potentials. The results of this study suggest that the paravermal PML in the rat cerebellum is primarily involved in the execution of forelimb movements rather than the planning aspect and that the PML is more active at the initiation and termination of the behavior, rather than the progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1232653
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
StatePublished - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


  • carbon fiber electrodes
  • cerebellar electrophysiology
  • chronic neural recording
  • local field potentials
  • reaching behavior


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