A signal processing analysis of Purkinje cells in vitro

Ze'ev R. Abrams, Ajithkumar Warrier, Dirk Trauner, Xiang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cerebellar Purkinje cells in vitro fi re recurrent sequences of Sodium and Calcium spikes. Here, we analyze the Purkinje cell using harmonic analysis, and our experiments reveal that its output signal is comprised of three distinct frequency bands, which are combined using Amplitude and Frequency Modulation (AM/FM). We fi nd that the three characteristic frequencies - Sodium, Calcium and Switching - occur in various combinations in all waveforms observed using wholecell current clamp recordings. We found that the Calcium frequency can display a frequency doubling of its frequency mode, and the Switching frequency can act as a possible generator of pauses that are typically seen in Purkinje output recordings. Using a reversibly photoswitchable kainate receptor agonist, we demonstrate the external modulation of the Calcium and Switching frequencies. These experiments and Fourier analysis suggest that the Purkinje cell can be understood as a harmonic signal oscillator, enabling a higher level of interpretation of Purkinje signaling based on modern signal processing techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFrontiers in Neural Circuits
StatePublished - 2010


  • Calcium spikes
  • Optical activation
  • Oscillations
  • Purkinje cell
  • Rhythmicity
  • Signal processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'A signal processing analysis of Purkinje cells in vitro'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this