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Theory of Cerebellar Function



James S. Albus


A comprehensive theory of cerebellar function is presented, which ties together the known anatomy and physiology of the cerebellum into a pattern-recognition data processing system. The cerebellum is postulated to be functionally and structurally equivalent to a modification of the classical Preceptron pattern-classification device. It is suggested that the mossy fiber - granule cell - Golgi cell input network performs an expansion recoding that enhances the pattern-discrimination capacity and learning speed of the cerebellar Purkinje response cells. Parallel fiber synapses of the dendritic spines of Purkinje cells, basket cells, and stellate cells are all postulated to be specifically variable in response to climbing fiber activity. It is argued that this variability is the mechanism of pattern storage. It is demonstrated that, in order for the learning process to be stable, pattern storage must be accomplished principally by weakening synaptic weights rather than by strengthening them.
Mathematical Biosciences
10 (1971)


Albus, J. (1971), Theory of Cerebellar Function, Mathematical Biosciences, [online], (Accessed May 23, 2024)


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Created January 1, 1971, Updated February 19, 2017