It has been suggested that long-term depression (LTD) of parallel "bre (PF) synapses enables a cerebellar Purkinje cell (PC) to learn to recognise PF activity patterns. We investigate the recognition of PF patterns that have been stored by LTD of AMPA receptors in a multicompartmental PC model with a passive soma. We "nd that a corresponding arti"cial neural network outperforms a PC model with active dendrites by an order of magnitude. Removal of the dendritic ion channels leads to a further decrease in performance. Another e!ect of the active dendrites is an afterhyperpolarization response to novel PF patterns. Thus, the LTD based storage of PF patterns can lead to a potentiated late PC response. 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.