Lauren E. McElvain

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Linking synaptic plasticity with behavioral learning requires understanding how synaptic efficacy influences postsynaptic firing in neurons whose role in behavior is understood. Here, we examine plasticity at a candidate site of motor learning: vestibular nerve synapses onto neurons that mediate reflexive movements. Pairing nerve activity with changes in(More)
The vestibular system is responsible for transforming head motion into precise eye, head, and body movements that rapidly stabilize gaze and posture. How do central excitatory synapses mediate behavioral outputs accurately matched to sensory inputs over a wide dynamic range? Here we demonstrate that vestibular afferent synapses in vitro express(More)
Many viruses of eukaryotes that use mRNA cap-dependent translation strategies have evolved alternate mechanisms to generate the mRNA cap compared to their hosts. The most divergent of these mechanisms are those used by nonsegmented negative-sense (NNS) RNA viruses, which evolved a capping enzyme that transfers RNA onto GDP, rather than GMP onto the 5' end(More)
Signal transfer in neural circuits is dynamically modified by the recent history of neuronal activity. Short-term plasticity endows synapses with nonlinear transmission properties, yet synapses in sensory and motor circuits are capable of signaling linearly over a wide range of presynaptic firing rates. How do such synapses achieve rate-invariant(More)
The cerebellum dedicates a majority of the brain's neurons to processing a wide range of sensory, motor, and cognitive signals. Stereotyped circuitry within the cerebellar cortex suggests that similar computations are performed throughout the cerebellum, but little is known about whether diverse precerebellar neurons are specialized for the nature of the(More)
The world view of rodents is largely determined by sensation on two length scales. One is within the animal's peri-personal space; sensorimotor control on this scale involves active movements of the nose, tongue, head, and vibrissa, along with sniffing to determine olfactory clues. The second scale involves the detection of more distant space through vision(More)
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