TitlePredictive neural computations in the cerebellum contribute to motor planning and faster behavioral responses in larval zebrafish.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsNarayanan S, Varma A, Thirumalai V
JournalSci Adv
Date Published2024 Jan 05
KeywordsAnimals, Cerebellum, Larva, Neurons, Purkinje Cells, Zebrafish

The ability to predict the future based on past experience lies at the core of the brain's ability to adapt behavior. However, the neural mechanisms that participate in generating and updating predictions are not clearly understood. Further, the evolutionary antecedents and the prevalence of predictive processing among vertebrates are even less explored. Here, we show evidence of predictive processing via the involvement of cerebellar circuits in larval zebrafish. We presented stereotyped optic flow stimuli to larval zebrafish to evoke swims and discovered that lesioning the cerebellum abolished prediction-dependent modulation of swim latency. When expectations of optic flow direction did not match with reality, error signals arrive at Purkinje cells via the olivary climbing fibers, whereas granule cells and Purkinje cells encode signals of expectation. Strong neural representations of expectation correlate with faster swim responses and vice versa. In sum, our results show evidence for predictive processing in nonmammalian vertebrates with the involvement of cerebellum, an evolutionarily conserved brain structure.

Alternate JournalSci Adv
PubMed ID38170763
PubMed Central IDPMC10775999