Javier F. Medina
Trial-by-Trial Analysis of Motor Learning in the Cerebellum
What are the neural processes that allow us to acquire and consolidate new motor skills such as learning to play the piano, ride a bicycle or swing a golf club? To address this question, my laboratory is doing experiments in awake-behaving mice while they perform a simple motor learning task known as Pavlovian eyeblink conditioning. We study neural processing in normal mice and in genetically-engineered mouse models of motor dysfunction using a multi-disciplinary approach that combines tools from psychology, in vivo neurophysiology and computational neuroscience. The goal of our research is to understand the link between neural activity, long-term plasticity and motor learning in the healthy brain, and then, to translate our findings into the clinical realm by identifying therapeutic entry-points for the treatment of movement disorders.