Multiple reference frames for motion in the primate cerebellum

Aasef G. Shaikh, Hui Meng, Dora E. Angelaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Knowledge of body motion through space is necessary for spatial orientation, self-motion perception, and postural control. Yet, sensory afferent signals may not directly provide such information to the brain. Because motion detected by the vestibular end organs is encoded in a head-fixed frame of reference, a coordinate transformation is thus required to encode body motion. In this study, we investigated whether cerebellar motion-sensitive neurons encode the translation of the body through space. We systematically changed both the direction of motion relative to the body and the static orientation of the head relative to the trunk. The activities of motion-sensitive neurons in the most medial of the deep cerebellar nuclei, the rostral fastigial nucleus, were compared with those in the brainstem vestibular nuclei. We found a distributed representation of reference frames for motion in the rostral fastigial nucleus, in contrast to cells in the vestibular nuclei, which primarily encoded motion in a head-fixed reference frame. This differential representation of motion-related information implies potential differences in the functional roles of these areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4491-4497
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 12 2004


  • Cerebellum
  • Coordinate transformation
  • Frame of reference
  • Gain field
  • Multisensory
  • Self-motion
  • Sensorimotor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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