Inferior Olive

The inferior olive receives US information from the trigeminal nucleus located in the brain stem. The inferior olive then relays this information to the interpositus and cerebellar cortex. Rabbits can be classically conditioned by electrically stimulating the inferior olive in place of an airpuff US. Pairing a tone CS with inferior olive stimulation as the US results in the development of CRs. In fact, rabbits can be conditioned without tones or airpuffs by stimulating the pontine nuclei as the CS and the inferior olive as the US. In well-trained rabbits (i.e., rabbits showing CRs), lesions of the inferior olive result in a gradual extinction of the CR as if the US has been removed, even though the US is still being presented. This indicates that the inferior olive sends critical US information to the interpositus and cerebellar cortex.

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