Computation of linear acceleration through an internal model in the macaque cerebellum

Jean Laurens, Hui Meng, Dora E. Angelaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A combination of theory and behavioral findings support a role for internal models in the resolution of sensory ambiguities and sensorimotor processing. Although the cerebellum has been proposed as a candidate for implementation of internal models, concrete evidence from neural responses is lacking. Using unnatural motion stimuli, which induce incorrect self-motion perception and eye movements, we explored the neural correlates of an internal model that has been proposed to compensate for Einstein's equivalence principle and generate neural estimates of linear acceleration and gravity. We found that caudal cerebellar vermis Purkinje cells and cerebellar nuclei neurons selective for actual linear acceleration also encoded erroneous linear acceleration, as would be expected from the internal model hypothesis, even when no actual linear acceleration occurred. These findings provide strong evidence that the cerebellum might be involved in the implementation of internal models that mimic physical principles to interpret sensory signals, as previously hypothesized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1701-1708
Number of pages8
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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