About this Research Topic
Investigation on the olivo-cerebellum system has attained a high level of sophistication leading to define several structural and functional properties of neurons, synapses, connections and circuits. Research has expanded and deepened in so many directions, and so many theories and models have been proposed, that an ensemble review of the matter is now needed. Yet, hot topics remain open and the scientific discussion is very lively on the several fronts. One major question, here as well as in the other major brain circuits, is how single neuron and synaptic properties emerge at the circuit level and contribute to behavioral regulation. The present initiative aims at making the point on the state of the art and stimulate future research. This will provide scientists with a powerful basis of knowledge allowing to enucleate the major issues deserving attention. A related issue is the growing interest in realistic modeling of the olivo-cerebellar circuit, which also requires a broad and insightful review of the experimental results.
The major aspects that we suggest you cover in this Research Topic are:
• Cellular properties (gene expression, protein expression, distribution, morphologies, electrophysiological, pharmacological, proteomics, receptors and ion channels, the impact of electrotonic structure, etc).
• Cell types (numbers, distributions, densities, development, species) and circuit organization (connectomics).
• Synaptic properties (synapse numbers, distributions, types, proportions, anatomical locations on neurons, physiological properties, short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity, developmental changes, species differences, implicated in diseases).
• Afferent & Efferent synaptic properties (input fibers - numbers, distributions, physiology, synaptic locations, bouton density & distributions: output fibers - neuronal sources, destinations, bouton density & distributions).
• Microcircuit properties (synaptic impact, polysynaptic activation, emergent properties in vitro & in vivo – reactivity, reverberations, oscillations, etc).
• Species differences and peculiarities
• Circuit plasticity (in development, pathology and repair)
• Theories and models of circuit function
• Diseases, including motor and cognitive
• Functional and structural studies showing how the olivo-cerebellar circuit operates in the human brain
All of you are leading on specific topics, on which you are encouraged to make the point. We ask you to first to propose a title (or more titles, also involving your collaborators) and then preparing insightful reviews. The first step will be to receive all your titles and to align the contributions toward the main categories indicated above. The second step will be to receive your reviews and organize the final layout. We have set the deadline of 29 February, 2012, so that you have plenty of time to proceed. The main topics will eventually be organized by writing concise editorials and by generating an index guiding the reader through the different issues. Looking forward of receiving your contributions to this unique initiative.