Stephen Lisberger, PhD, PI
We ask how the brain works when it is working. Our goal is to understand the general principles of brain operation, through analysis of a relatively simple sensory-motor system in a complex animal. We study the control of eye movements in awake, behaving rhesus monkeys. We analyze eye movement behavior quantitatively, we make recordings from one or multiple brain cells during eye movement behavior, and we use theory and computational modeling.
One area of our research concerns how the neural circuit for pursuit works as a whole to transform the sensory representation in extrastriate area MT into commands for rationale and accurate movements. A second area of research concerns how we learn motor skills. We have shown that the cerebellum is critical for motor learning, and we have provided evidence that learning occurs both in the cerebellar cortex and the deep cerebellar nuclei. We also have discovered a form of very rapid plasticity that occurs when the visual detection of movement errors causes "climbing fiber responses" in the cerebellum.
Selected Recent Publications
- Lisberger SG (2020) The rules of cerebellar learning: around the Ito hypothesis. Neuroscience 462: 175-190. PMC7914257
- De Zeeuw CI, Lisberger SG Raymond JL (2021) Diversity and dynamism in the cerebellum. Nat. Neurosci. 24: 160-167.
- Darlington TR, Beck JM, Lisberger SG (2018) Neural implementation of Bayesian inference in a sensory-motor behavior. Nat. Neurosci. 21: 1442-1451. PMC6312195.
- Herzfeld DJ, Hall NJ, Trigides M, Lisberger SG (2020) Principles of operation of a learning neural circuit. eLife. 2020;9:e55217 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.55217 PMC7255800
- Behling S, Lisberger SG (2020) Different mechanisms for modulation of the initiation and steady-state of smooth pursuit eye movements. J. Neurophysiol. 123: 1265-1276. PMC7099477