Measuring Cerebellar Processing and Sensorimotor Functions in Non-Human Primates

Nico A. Flierman, Eric Avila, Chris I. De Zeeuw, Aleksandra Badura*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


The cerebellum is well known for integrating and processing sensory inputs to guide motor functions. Lesions to this brain region result in loss of movement precision, problems with balance, and difficulty in acquiring new motor skills. Moreover, in recent years it has been shown that the cerebellum is also involved in many cognitive functions. In order to study the cerebellar neural mechanisms that underlie these processes we need to measure the cerebellar activity accompanying these complex behaviors. We can achieve this by performing electrophysiological recordings from the neural tissue to obtain signals from cerebellar neurons in awake, behaving animals. Even though many experimental questions can be addressed in rodents, some can only be answered by using non-human primates (NHPs). Particularly, the low acuity of the visual system and less developed neocortex make rodents undesirable models when higher order sensorimotor functions are being probed. For analogous reasons NHPs are indispensable when testing cortical prosthesis. In cerebellar research, NHPs have most commonly been used to study the role of Purkinje cell processing in integrating different forms of sensory information to acquire, plan, and coordinate eye and limb movements. Our goal in this chapter is to provide the reader with guidelines on how to perform measurements of cerebellar function in NHPs, specifically using single-unit extracellular recordings. We highlight the advantages and limitations of this approach focusing on the surgical and technical aspects of these experiments, and we describe standard and novel approaches to quantify the behavior of NHPs during experimental manipulations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeuromethods
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

ISSN (Print)0893-2336
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6045


  • Cerebellum
  • Customized implants
  • Electrophysiology
  • Extracellular recordings
  • Non-human primates
  • Single-unit recordings


Dive into the research topics of 'Measuring Cerebellar Processing and Sensorimotor Functions in Non-Human Primates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this