Organisation and dynamics of multiregional circuits for goal-directed behaviour

Year of award: 2022


  • Dr Dimitar Kostadinov

    University College London, United Kingdom

Project summary

Many of the brain's important functions engage computations across multiple brain regions, but the ways in which different regions collaborate remain poorly understood. The goal of this proposal is to identify the organising principles and functional roles of long-range circuits between the cerebellum and the forebrain. The cerebellum's role in sensorimotor learning is well established, while its contributions to cognitive behaviours, such as processing of reward, have only recently been appreciated. Here, I aim to create a unified understanding of these seemingly distinct functional roles by defining common principles of multi-regional computations performed by cerebellar circuits and their partners in the motor cortex and basal ganglia, which may facilitate sensorimotor and reward-related functions, respectively. To achieve this goal, I will utilise a combination of cutting-edge techniques in mice to:

(1) map the organisational logic of connections between the cerebellum and forebrain

(2) uncover shared activity patterns in these long-range circuits

(3) define causal contributions of the cerebellum to computations in partner regions and to behaviour.

This work will generate new insights into the cerebellum's diverse roles and provide a rigorous foundation for quantitative, multiscale theories of learning and computation that can be applied throughout the brain.