What are the neural processes that allow us to acquire and consolidate new motor skills such as learning to play the piano, ride a bicycle or swing a golf club? To address this question, my laboratory is doing experiments in awake-behaving mice while they perform a simple motor learning task known as Pavlovian eyeblink conditioning. We study neural processing in normal mice and in genetically-engineered mouse models of motor dysfunction using a multi-disciplinary approach that combines tools from psychology, in vivo neurophysiology and computational neuroscience. The goal of our research is to understand the link between neural activity, long-term plasticity and motor learning in the healthy brain, and then, to translate our findings into the clinical realm by identifying therapeutic entry-points for the treatment of movement disorders.
Professor Medina will be accepting new graduate students for admission in fall 2015.
PSYC 109 Introduction to Brain and Behavior
BIOL 451 Neural Systems and Behavior
Psychology Graduate Group; Neuroscience Graduate Group
Najafi F, Giovannucci A, Wang SSH, Medina JF (2014) Coding of stimulus strength via analog calcium signals in Purkinje cell dendrites of awake mice. eLife (in press)
Najafi F, Giovannucci A, Wang SSH, Medina JF (2014) Sensory-driven enhancement of calcium signals in individual Purkinje cell dendrites of awake mice. Cell Reports 6(5):792-8
Heiney SA, Kim J, Augustine GJ, Medina JF (2014) Precise control of movement kinematics by optogenetic inhibition of Purkinje cell activity. Journal of Neuroscience 34(6):2321-30
Najafi F, Medina JF (2013) Beyond “all-or-nothing” climbing fibers: graded representation of teaching signals in Purkinje cells. Front Neural Circuits 7:115
Medina JF, Khodakhah K (2012) Spikes timed through inhibition. Nature 481(7382):446-7.
Medina JF (2011) The multiple roles of Purkinje cells in sensori-motor calibration: to predict, teach and command. Curr Opin Neurobiol 21 (4):616-22.
Chettih SN, McDougle SD, Ruffolo LI, Medina JF (2011) Adaptive timing of motor output in the mouse: the role of movement oscillations in eyelid conditioning. Front Integr Neurosci 5:72.
Medina JF, Lisberger, SG (2009) Encoding and decoding of learned smooth-pursuit eye movements in the floccular complex of the monkey cerebellum. Journal of Neurophysiology 102(4):2039-54.
Medina, JF, Lisberger SG (2008) Links from complex spikes to local plasticity and motor learning in the cerebellum of awake-behaving monkeys. Nature Neuroscience 11(10):1185-92.
Medina, JF, Lisberger SG (2007) Variation, signal, and noise in cerebellar sensory-motor processing for smooth-pursuit eye movements. Journal of Neuroscience 27(25):6832-42.
Carey, MR, Medina JF, Lisberger SG (2005) Instructive signals for motor learning from visual cortical area MT. Nature Neuroscience 8(6):813-819.
Medina JF, Carey MR, Lisberger SG (2005) The representation of time for motor learning. Neuron 45(1):157-167
Medina JF, Nores WL, Mauk MD (2002) Inhibition of climbing fibres is a signal for the extinction of conditioned eyelid responses. Nature 416:330-333
Medina JF, Repa JC, Mauk MD, LeDoux JE (2002) Parallels between cerebellum- and amygdala-dependent conditioning. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 3(2):122-131
Medina JF, Garcia KS, Mauk MD (2001) A mechanism for savings in the cerebellum. Journal of Neuroscience 21(11):4081-4089.
Medina JF, Mauk MD (2000) Computer simulation of cerebellar information processing. Nature Neuroscience 3:1205-1211.
Medina JF, Garcia KS, Nores WL, Taylor NM, Mauk MD (2000) Timing mechanisms in the cerebellum: Testing predictions of a large-scale computer simulation. Journal of Neuroscience 20(14):5516-5525.